Hamburg to get Health AI Hub - start-ups joining forces

Part 8: AI to unfold huge potential in health sector
24 April 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) is highly efficient at recognising patterns and holds huge potential for medicine. Algorithms can identify and classify cell changes, which relieves the strain on doctors and leaves them more time for contact with their patients. “AI copes outstandingly with context-independent tasks. If, for instance, the question arises: Can cancer cells be detected in a tissue section – yes or no? AI can solve such tasks with great precision and much faster than humans,” said Felix Faber, 38. He and Dr. Tobias Lang, the founders of Mindpeak, rely on AI for pathological diagnoses. “We are developing support tools for doctors who normally use the naked eye to look for cancer cells and inflammations under the microscope.”

Health AI hub – basis for successful ecosystem

Now, Faber is aiming higher. Mindpeak and two other start-ups namely DPV-Analytics and Psiori are developing AI solutions in medicine and wish to set up a centre for artificial intelligence in Hamburg. The “Health AI Hub” would lay the foundations of a successful ecosystem that will drive future technology forward. Faber gained first-hand experience of such a sustainable network and its benefits in Silicon Valley. In 2008, Faber founded Bytro Labs online games and spent several months in the United States as part of the German Accelerator funding programme. Participants test and develop ideas with other aspiring start-ups during the programme and newcomers benefit from the experience of the professionals. Faber now hopes to create a similarly inspiring environ in Hamburg’s St. Pauli from May 2019.

Strengthening Hamburg as a technology location

Hopes are high that the Health AI Hub will raise public awareness and that the respective companies will benefit from the proximity to each other. “There will be a monthly event, share-a-thing, at which everyone will share something to advance the others through their own experiences. We share not only the technology, but also the type of data storage and architecture. The approval procedures are also similar, so we can learn plenty from each other,” Faber believes the hub will benefit both the participating start-ups and Hamburg as a technology location. While Berlin still attracts many technology founders to the German capital, things may change on the heels of Faber’s envisaged goals, if successful. “Berlin may have more start-ups in the AI sector, but I believe the average quality is better in Hamburg. And experience has shown that quality ultimately pays off.