There are many domestic technology startups in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) technology at the Middle East Technical University (METU) Teknokent in the capital Ankara. Quick diagnosis in sports injuries shortens the healing process that usually takes a long time. With the AI algorithms it uses, the METU Teknokent venture SmartAlpha helps speed up the decision-making process when assessing whether to keep a player in the game.
The company made a 4-million-euro ($4.7 million) investment deal with Diffusion Capital Partners (DCP). As ultrasound devices become more mobile, they are developed to use the results of accurate diagnostic devices faster and more effectively, which will make it easier for experts to make decisions.
SmartAlpha co-founder Utku Kaya evaluated the venture's investment growth plan and the prospect of globalization. "SmartAlpha was founded from day one to become a global artificial intelligence company. We are still a 20-month-old company today, and most of this time has passed during the pandemic. When we look at the past year today, we can say that we have been affected by the pandemic, but we have definitely not been overshadowed by it," Kaya said.
"In this process, we have raised our technology and competence above the global level, and we have come a long way in the compliance of our products with medical regulations so that they can be marketed in many countries. From now on, we will spend all the resources we have for the goal we set on that first day," he noted.
Kaya stressed that they hope to lead the democratization of the use of AI in the health sector with the SmartAlpha, which they established with Ozan Biler in 2019.
"As SmartAlpha, we believe that advances in artificial intelligence will change all health processes. Our specialty is medical images. In particular, we are working on ultrasonography and producing artificial intelligence decision support systems that will be needed by all physicians using ultrasonography. We call this technology we have 'Medical Artificial Intelligence.' Therefore, there is a value we will produce in every field where ultrasound images are available; the number of these areas is very high. For today, we can intervene in the decisions of anesthesiology, urology and chest disease physicians and work on rapidly increasing areas of use," he said.
Kaya stated that they aim to have a positive impact on human health and summarized their goals. "Market size is not the only motivation for SmartAlpha, every member of our team has joined SmartAlpha to produce advanced technologies that will affect human health," he further stressed.
"We institutionalized such an ideal. We are already confident that this motivation will bring us success. If we look at it in terms of the market, we must first underline this. The positive and concrete effects of artificial intelligence on human health have begun to be felt in many areas. There is little time left for this effect to spread to the general public," he said.
Kaya also touched on the size of the market. "There are different expert opinions, but when we look at all of them, we see that in just five years, the economy to be created by medical artificial intelligence in the field of health is expected to reach approximately $50 billion and the annual growth to 50%," he said.
"It is estimated that the growth rate in our area of expertise will be higher than this. To be an important player in this market, all we had to do was be fast... If we continue to reach the right resources, we can bring a gold medal to our country in terms of market share," Kaya added.
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