“After four years of intensive research and product development, we are officially launching Neko Health today,” the statement reads. “The company was founded by Hjalmar Nilsonne and Daniel Ek with a vision to create a healthcare system that can help people stay healthy through preventive measures and early detection.”
According to a translated version of Neko Health website, the Swedish company’s non-invasive full-body scanner can detect and measure the growth of moles, rashes and age spots. It also uses a separate scanner to pick up any abnormalities in heart function, blood pressure and heart rate throughout the body.
Neko says the company’s 360-degree body scanner is equipped with more than 70 sensors that collect more than “50 million data points on skin, heart, blood vessels, respiration, microcirculation, and more.” This data is then analyzed by a “self-learning, AI-powered system” that spells out the results for doctors and patients. Clients get results at their appointment and can even view and track their results on an accompanying app.
“Our mission is to build a proactive healthcare system, one that is focused on preventing disease,” writes Nilsonne a message on LinkedIn, citing rising healthcare costs in Sweden and the European Union. The full-body scans, which Neko says only take a few minutes, are currently open to the public in Sweden and cost 2,000 SEK (or about $190 USD). At the time of writing, the scans are currently sold out.
Ek’s foray into healthcare comes as no surprise. Rumors about the startup circulating since November, and Ek has long hinted at getting involved in healthcare. In 2013, a report The Financial Times revealed that Ek “spends spare hours thinking about fixing a ‘ruined’ healthcare system.” “I’m not the inventor, but I may be the person stupid enough to go against the system and try to beat it on its own terms,” he said at the time.
It is clearly too early to say what kind of impact Neko Health could have on healthcare, but it sounds promising. Similar technology has emerged in the past, with Facebook and New York University teaming up to make MRI scans faster using AI, and researchers developing AI technology that scans your retina and predicts your risk of heart disease. But Neko Health is using this technology on a larger and more accessible scale, and it’s exciting to think about its potential.