Seven companies join Chinese digital alliance on healthcare
January 09, 2017 01:00 By CHINA DAILY Asia News Network BEIJING
SEVEN domestic and overseas companies have joined iCarbonX’s Digital Life Alliance with the aim of deepening people’s understanding of their health and enabling them to lead healthier lives with the help of advanced technology.
By establishing the alliance, Shenzhen-based technology startup iCarbonX said it hoped to create an ecosystem.
It said that in it, genetic, biological and patient-generated data could be merged with sequencing and artificial intelligence technology-to instantly detect meaningful signals about health, disease and ageing and then deliver a personalised guide for people to live a healthy life.
The startup said it has invested a total of nearly US$400 million (Bt14.3 billion) in the seven companies to promote the collaboration.
“Today we know a great deal about how genes impact our health. But for that knowledge to be useful, we need to know how disease and ageing manifests in the body over time, and how our everyday choices affect their progression,” iCarbonX founder Wang Jun said at the first Digital Life Summit where he made the announcement.
iCarbonX, founded in 2015, is a “unicorn company”, meaning it is a startup group worth more than $1 billion. It won A-round financing of 1 billion yuan (Bt5.1 billion) led by Internet giant Tencent in April.
“This ecosystem will be capable of connecting the biology and experience of individuals and of creating useful, predictive algorithms to illuminate personal susceptibilities, differences in body functions and variations in treatment responses,” Wang said.
The seven new members of the alliance – SomaLogic, HealthTell, PatientsLikeMe, AOBiome, GALT, Imagu and Robustnique –include five US companies, one from Israel and one from China in bio, health networking, sequencing and AI technology and application fields. Wang said the alliance companies would add to iCarbonX's own deep expertise in AI and data analysis and mining, and provide diverse but fundamental capabilities it needed to realise the objectives.
James Haywood, co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe, a health networking platform which connects patients and enables them to share their experiences with each other, said the establishment of the alliance meant a big step forward in the effort not only of improving human health, but also enhancing people’s living standards and the lives of future generations.