Arianna Huffington and OpenAI Startup Fund support AI healthcare venture

AI, Arianna Huffington, healthcare, OpenAI, Startup Fund, venture

Thrive AI Health, a new venture backed by Arianna Huffington’s mental wellness firm Thrive Global and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, aims to develop AI-powered assistant technology to promote healthier lifestyles. The company plans to build an “AI health coach” that offers personalized advice on sleep, food, fitness, stress management, and connection. The goal is to provide users with precise recommendations tailored to their individual needs and behaviors, based on scientific research and medical data.

The CEO of Thrive AI Health is DeCarlos Love, who previously worked on fitness and health experiences at Google’s Fitbit subsidiary. The company has received investments from strategic partners, including the Alice L. Walton Foundation and the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. Thrive AI Health also plans to collaborate with institutions like Stanford Medicine to leverage their health data platform.

Huffington and Altman envision a virtual assistant on a smartphone app that learns from users’ behaviors and provides real-time health-related suggestions. Their goal is to move away from generic health recommendations and offer more personalized advice. For example, the AI health coach might suggest swapping a soda with water and lemon, taking a 10-minute walk with a child after school, or starting a wind-down routine at a specific time to ensure a good night’s sleep.

The emergence of Thrive AI Health is part of a broader trend in the tech industry to develop health-focused apps using AI-driven personalization. However, previous attempts have faced various challenges, including technical limitations and regulatory hurdles.

IBM’s Watson Health division, launched in 2015, aimed to analyze vast amounts of medical data to generate insights for improving health outcomes. However, the technology proved to be inefficient and, in some cases, even harmful. Babylon Health, a health chatbot startup partnered with the NHS, also faced setbacks when investigations revealed that its technology did not outperform human doctors. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy.

Moreover, there are concerns about the biases and stereotypes perpetuated by AI technology in healthcare. Studies have shown that AI models, including those developed by OpenAI, can reinforce false beliefs about biological differences between racial groups. Biased AI models can even fool trained clinicians, making it difficult to eradicate these biases.

In light of these challenges, Huffington and Altman are positioning Thrive AI Health as a more careful and thoughtful approach to health coaching. They aim to democratize health coaching while addressing health inequities in a secure and privacy-sensitive manner. The company has enlisted the expertise of Gbenga Ogedegbe, director of NYU Langone’s Institute for Excellence in Health Equity, as an advisor. They also promise that their research data will undergo peer review and that users will have the final say in which information is used to inform recommendations.

However, striking a balance between democratizing health technology and preserving patient privacy is a difficult challenge. Past incidents, such as Google’s mishandling of patient data and recent data breaches, highlight the risks associated with entrusting sensitive health information to third parties.

While Thrive AI Health’s intentions may be noble, it remains to be seen whether they can navigate these hurdles successfully. Skeptics will closely monitor the company’s progress and its ability to deliver on its promises while upholding privacy and security standards.

Source link

Leave a Comment