Kahun uses AI to Screen for At-Risk Corona Patients

Kahun has started beta testing a new technology to help doctors diagnose patients. Kahun’s technology gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic as it used its AI capabilities to tap into more than 2,000 papers and articles found in the medical library PubMed studying the new coronavirus.

Using Kahun’s knowledge graph, doctors were able to screen patients and assess their risk for severe illness from the coronavirus. A joint study with the Rabin Medical Center, HaSharon Campus, showed Kahun’ efficacy in helping doctors make their risk assessments, the company said.

After physicians submit their patients’ symptoms to Kahun’s website, the software scours the wealth of information available in medical texts and creates a “knowledge graph” that can map out 5 million relations between symptoms and diseases, findings, labs, complications and risk factors.

Kahun has also developed an AI engine that uses the knowledge graph created to “mimic” a physician’s thinking, she said. It assists them in making their diagnosis, points them toward a recommended course of action, and “backs them up with medical sources” by linking the information provided to the original medical sources consulted.

In addition to suggesting the most likely diseases, the software offers a plan for next steps, including the best questions to ask, tests to perform, or further lab work and imaging that is required to narrow down the diagnosis.

The web-based interface core application is used by hundreds of physicians and medical students in Israel, according the the company.

Serial entrepreneur Uri Levine, who co-founded the navigation app Waze — which was acquired by Google in 2013 for over $1 billion — is an investor in Kahun and is its chairman.

According to a medical intern at a hospital in central Israel, Yohai Shraga, said that he uses Kahun whenever he found himself at a loss for a diagnosis. Kahun “has become my go-to gear to have in a tense hospital shift. I can use it to make sure I don’t miss anything, or to consult with just before turning to a senior physician.”

The Tel Aviv-based startup, which employs 22 workers, was co-founded by Tzuchman-Katz, Ron and Tal Goldberg in 2018. The three met when working together at HumanClick Ltd., an Israeli startup founded by Ron and Goldberg and acquired by LivePerson, a maker of chatbots for businesses, in the early 2000s. Tzuchman-Katz, who was a software engineer at LivePerson, went to medical school and became a pediatrician, and the three got together in 2018 to start Kahun.

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