EMBA alumni Ian Colwill and Dr Rav Seeruthun.

Executive MBA alumni launch new business to tackle health inequality using the power of AI

8 September 2023

The article at a glance

Executive MBA alumni from contrasting backgrounds have formed an unlikely partnership to achieve a shared goal: reducing health inequality and improve access to care for underserved populations.

Category: Programme news

It’s not unknown that disparities in healthcare exist, not just in the UK, but across the globe. These aren’t predominantly related to wealth, as one might expect, but also location, ethnicity and age.

“It is shocking and unfair that in 2023 underserved populations do not have equal access to healthcare and innovative life-saving medicines. Health-Equity.AI are the bridge helping to make these disparities visible, so when we uncover them, we can partner with the right people to solve them.” explains Dr Rav Seeruthun (EMBA 2013).

The role of AI in healthcare

Ian Colwill (EMBA 2013) illustrates the vital part AI will play in revealing these disparities: “There is a huge amount of unstructured healthcare data available. The part that’s missing is to get across all those different data sources and make some sense of them. AI allows us not only deal with such a large volume of data, but also to recognise signals from the noise that are beyond human capability to typically identify. The AI will see things a human never will.”

Once these signals have been uncovered, Health-Equity.AI will partner with the relevant stakeholders to help solve these disparities. Their first customer is a ‘top 5’ pharmaceutical company who produce breakthrough cancer treatments where disparities were seen in both cancer screening and the treatments being prescribed.

Successfully tackling health inequality through collaboration and networking

In order to execute such a complex project, two knowledge sets were required: one in medicine and the other in data science.

Dr Rav Seeruthun (EMBA 2013), studied medicine at Imperial College London and was a GP in the NHS before moving to the pharmaceutical industry where he has held senior commercial and medical roles in the UK and US.

Professor Ian Colwill (EMBA 2013), began his academic career in aircraft engineering before diverging into engineering computer science. He is currently the director of several companies and visiting professor at Sussex University.

“I would not have imagined that a physician and an engineer would be partnering to solve health inequality” States Rav, “We wouldn’t have crossed paths if we hadn’t both studied the Executive MBA at Cambridge. The programme brings together like minded people who may not necessarily have anything in common”.

“Those you meet on this course open your mind to being able to achieve things you didn’t know you could achieve, and the number of students, and professors, who’ve helped us on this journey is huge.”

Future plans for business growth: collaborating with University of Cambridge and the NHS

Health-Equity.AI have a base in Brighton and have also just moved into a shared workspace in Cambridge, ideaSpace that is a community that connects founders, innovators and entrepreneurs and is part of Cambridge Enterprise (Cambridge University).

With plans to collaborate with the NHS as part of the second phase of their business model, they can help to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need. Their work is a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of cultivating a diverse network.

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