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NewTech Friday: Hyfe – the world’s most advanced acoustic AI 29 October 2021

Iulian Circo is a serial entrepreneur and recovering humanitarian operating at the frontiers of technology and impact, with a special interest in HealthTech. We spoke to him about his latest venture, Hyfe. 

What led to the creation of Hyfe?

Hyfe was born from our passionate belief that evidence-based, AI-driven, acoustic tools for diagnostics and monitoring can save lives, eradicate disease, and stop the next pandemic. The pandemic exposed fundamental fault lines in global healthcare infrastructure that need to be addressed. This is now becoming easier as we are living in a hyper-connected world, where everyone runs around with a powerful device in their pocket, packed with sensors and computing power. We created Hyfe as a way to execute on our thesis that the health care of the future will be data-driven, patient-centered, and enabled by technology.

Just like everything else: work, entertainment, banking, social life, even dating – health care will transform and Hyfe is one of the companies at the forefront of this transformation. 

Could you present Hyfe's offer?

Remarkably, no one has ever figured out a way to measure a cough. People simply don't know how often they cough and lung doctors rely on ridiculously subjective data to complete clinical evaluations (“How has your cough been?”). They are like cardiologists without a blood pressure cuff, or endocrinologists without a glucometer. 

We even lack the ability to discuss a cough. We use words like “wet” or “dry” to describe what is actually an incredibly data rich signal. 

This inability to measure coughs is one reason we have so few tools to cure it. It’s not surprising at all that there hasn’t been a new drug approved for cough in over 60 years. 

Hyfe has solved the cough measuring problem. We have built the best tool on the market that can track cough frequency over time using nothing more than a regular smartphone. 

We are also working on ways to diagnose disease using acoustic signals. Imagine your phone could help detect pneumonia or even lung cancer. 

Hyfe is creating acoustic tools for diagnostics and monitoring that are:
• Accessible to all
• Scalable without limits
• Impactful everywhere

These tools are built using the world’s largest and fastest growing cough dataset, improved upon continuously via machine learning, and vetted extensively through partnerships with clinical researchers around the world.

What's coming next for Hyfe?

We are in a great place right now. We are close to reaching profitability - an amazing milestone for a company not even 1.5 years old. We are already working on some very important problems:

• We are working on a regulatory roadmap to ensure that we get regulatory approval for some of our more sophisticated products

• We are continuing to improve and analyze what is by far the world’s largest dataset of coughs and cough-like sounds (we have more than 90 million sound samples in our dataset)

• We are working on more difficult machine learning problems, including the ability to distinguish between the coughs of different people, as well as the ability to predict disease status based on cough

And even more is on the way!

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