Symptoma: the world’s most accurate AI symptom checker

Misdiagnosis could become a thing of the past. With advanced artificial intelligence (AI), 15 years of medical research and perseverance, Symptoma, a world-leading accurate online symptom checker, is reducing one of medicine’s biggest blind spots. One in seven diagnoses are incorrect and eliminating this problem could save 1.5 million lives every year.

Feeding AI for accuracy

AI symptom checker and digital health assistant Symptoma has a +95% accuracy rate for over 20,000 diseases. Its database contains billions of links to symptoms and provides medical professionals with easy access to reputable (normally scattered) specialist information to form diagnoses.

A major reason for Symptoma’s effectiveness is its scope. CEO, Dr. Jama Nateqi explains, “If you only cover the most common diseases, you’re going to increase the rate of misdiagnosis.” Symptoma has the world’s biggest database of its kind, taking into consideration rare diseases, risk factors, probability and relevant statistics – consolidating almost the whole of medicine.

Medical professionals are only human and can’t possibly retain so much ever-changing information. Having an AI like Symptoma helps them find exactly what they need quickly, with the bonus of staying up to date on the latest findings on rare disease symptoms.

Stored information comes from highly reputable sources: medical journals, user data and electronic health records. Symptoma’s team of international medical doctors conduct further crucial research and help add all the nuances we use to describe our symptoms (e.g. a runny nose or rhinorrhea?) An added benefit of the international team is that Symptoma’s AI can be trained accurately in 36 different languages.

How does Symptoma work?

“Every human being is different. If 100 people have the same disease, they will have different symptoms, different experiences of symptoms, different ways of explaining or expressing them and doctors will understand them differently and document them differently.” – Nateqi

Unlike many other AI symptom checkers, Symptoma has an online chatbot doctor where you can input symptoms as free text. This option allows flexibility when describing your symptoms and increases the likelihood of receiving an accurate list of probable causes.

Once you have entered your symptoms, your age and biological sex, the chatbot asks additional questions based on your input. This can sometimes identify symptoms you may not have considered relevant but are strong indicators of some conditions. Moreover, ruling out these symptoms can help the chatbot exclude more common diseases.

All of this takes just one to two minutes before you are given a list of the 30 most probable causes and external links to further information about each condition.

…And if any symptom appears in a medical publication, Symptoma will recognise it. For example, “undercooked eggs” returns a suggestion you may have food poisoning; entering “Donald Trump” with no additional symptoms returns brachydactyly (a non-harmful inherited condition where a person has shorter fingers); type Elon Musk and you’ll be asked if you are displaying manic behaviour.

COVID-19 vs. Symptoma’s AI? “Business as usual”

Symptoma has been an extremely valuable AI tool for overrun clinics, hospitals and medical centres throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic, especially in its home country of Austria. The symptom checker chatbot can be used for quick assessments, acting as an effective and efficient alternative to helplines or filling in paper forms on site. Results indicate to medical professionals whether a patient should be tested for COVID-19, and can eliminate patients with other ear, nose, throat or respiratory infections.

Symptoma has a 96.32% accuracy rate for patients displaying COVID-19 symptoms when results have been compared with polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted in tandem – the highest accuracy rate for any COVID-19 symptom checker in the world.

In fact, Symptoma is so effective that collective data in 23 countries where there was a high volume of queries shows an obvious correlation with the mapping of COVID-19 positive test results over a time period, even predicting official figures five days in advance. This demonstrates how Symptoma could be useful for tracking future outbreaks of diseases or identifying the emergence of new diseases (e.g. by flagging a repetition of rarer or unusual combinations of symptoms).

Nateqi said that adding COVID-19 to Symptoma’s existing model and database followed the same processes as any other disease; it was “business as usual” for their powerful AI, with the system already updated in January 2020. As new reputable literature and evidence about the virus’ impact circulated, Symptoma’s AI was able to adapt instantly.

A world-leading AI healthcare solution

“Symptoma is already the precursor of the full digital health assistant as we envisage it, as the interface between patients and doctors.” – Nateqi

Since its breakthrough in 2013, Symptoma has become the most widely used symptom checker of all time, with 10 million monthly active users globally: curious patients, doctors, hospitals, medtechs, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and governments.

Dubbed “a Google for diseases”, Symptoma has won awards galore, and is recognised in scientific publications and Pfizer studies (comparing 107 symptom checkers) as the number one symptom checker in the world and the only AI symptom checker that can be used by patients as well as doctors. It even boasts advisors active in the precision medicine field, like Professor Christoph Huber, the co-founder of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine developer, BioNTech.

With powerful industry and international support, Symptoma’s team of 70 data scientists, medical doctors, software engineers, database administrators, designers, marketers, etc. led by passionate entrepreneurs Nateqi and Thomas Lutz have all the ingredients for continued success.

Constantly improving with international collaboration

So far, Symptoma has participated in five Eureka research and development projects with international partners to incorporate electronic health records and improve the accuracy of its AI for e.g. seizures, sepsis and conditions with abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) signals.

As a global company, Symptoma must understand a range of national and regional differences, like digitalisation maturity, ways of working, private vs. public healthcare, regulatory aspects that need to be met for research quality and skewed incidence rates (e.g. due to insurance compensation). Nateqi says that “having partners from many other countries is helping us solve these mysteries”.

Alongside outstanding medical research, Symptoma is hoping to increase their presence in Europe, the US and Japan. The company will continue to grow dynamically based on international interest and their growing network of medical professionals.

“We need to continue to focus on how we can help our patients and customers.” – Nateqi

There is no doubt that co-founders Nateqi and Lutz are pioneers. They have successfully developed a highly accurate, instantaneous and encyclopaedic AI symptom checker for precise diagnostic support and will continue to improve it to meet people’s needs and solve healthcare challenges.

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Posted 28 January 21