Linked to the challenge of improving the healthcare system, the use of algorithms by companies specializing in telemedicine specialized in telemedicine offers an unhoped-for opportunity to develop the efficiencythe efficiency of remote medical diagnosis. Since the explosion in the use of telemedicine platforms, it is telemedicine platforms, it is essential to improve and facilitate the consultation whether it is via a smartphoneor a terminal. Meet Fabien Niel, CTO and founder of the start-up Quantiq.
There are so many things to discover when starting a business, it's a rich adventure
Could you introduce Quantiq and explain the choice of the name ?
Quantiq is a start-up founded in January 2020 with a second partner, Alain Habra who is CEO. The start-up aims to create algorithms for determining vital signs and health indicators with a simple indicators with a simple camera. The objective is to democratize contactless health.
The principle is to is to use, for example, a computer or smartphone camera to film the user's face and deduce the user's face and deduce vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate and The aim is to allow a large number of people to access health via a web-based access to health via a smartphone but also to improve the appointments in teleconsultation. Telemedicine has exploded, even more so since the health crisis, but the telemedicine or teleconsultation platforms in general remain simply teleconference platforms. teleconference platforms. At present, teleconsultation platforms offer the only possibility to chat with your doctor without the doctor having access to your vital signs and vital signs and physiological status of the patient.
In some cases, there is equipment but this is rare because of the costs involved. In addition, it cannot be used just any any way. Quantiq's strategy therefore revolves around facilitating access to these tools which are sent in a few seconds to the doctor who can establish a diagnosis. In concrete terms, we are not are not a telemedicine platform like those we already know (Doctolib,Medadom...), they are our customers. By providing the designed algorithm, the customers will integrate them into their platforms.
Before the consultation, the patient will be able to look at himself for 20 seconds, the vital signs will be calculated and sent to the doctor. To understand where the name of the start-up comes from, you need to know that the main activity was quantum physics with quantum computers, The change of path and sector did not make the name change because it pleased everyone.
What type of technology do you use on a daily basis ?
Quantiq uses artificial intelligence, signal processing and computer vision to enhance the image and highlight desired metrics. improve the image and highlight desired metrics. Deep learning (Deeplearning) process the images with more advanced convolutional networks. Then, the signals will be determined from this information. Vital signs that can be diagnosed in more detail with.
What were your backgrounds? How did you meet?
I followed a path that could be considered "classic". It began with a preparatory course for the grandes écoles, then school, then Centrale Supélec in the engineering cycle. Then I entered the master's degree in "thermonuclear fusion sciences" offered by the Ecole Polytechnique. At the time, I wanted to work in physics.
I also continued my studies by doing a thesis at the Polytechnique in the CNRS laboratory of intense lasers. After having continued in the post-doctoral research always within one of the laboratories of laboratories of the Ecole Polytechnique, I wanted to do something else while remaining in the innovation sector without staying in an academic framework. Not being very attracted by the job offers, i was not very attracted by the job offers proposed by the big companies which according to me are not always very innovative, i turned to start-ups on the advice of a friend. At the same time, I got to know of "Entrepreneur first", a gas pedal but also an investment fund that recruits 60 people twice a year, people with very technical skills but who don't necessarily have a very precise idea of a project. The principle is to pair up to create projects.
It is thanks to this adventure that I was able to meet my partner Alain Habra. His partner has a different background, he has always been in the start-up business. Before the Quantiq project, he had already created a company specialized in finance, called tradezone, related to the stock market. The goal was to was to match buyers and sellers. Alain is a graduate of the MVA master's program at ENS.
What were the most difficult experiences in the beginning of your business? What constraints?
Initially, the most difficult thing was to find a market. This first manifested itself in thinking about what was feasible with the combined skills of everyone. However, what difficult for the start-up company was to get to the point where it is now.
The most important thing is to have an idea, test the market and check the attraction,in other words, if it's interesting, if it's different from others, but also if it's feasible. It is by pivoting from one direction to another, that the team managed to find a subject that was both innovative and feasible.
In the current context where research in the medical sector is emphasized, did your offer presented itself as an opportunity?
At the beginning, the project was to set up terminals in order to evaluate the state of health of the person and to know if they can enter a place or not. After reflection, the idea was abandoned and seen as a trap. The pandemic of the coronavirus being in the end all the same an ephemeral event, with a duration of about 2/3 years. It was not possible to set up a start-up just based on an opportunity that is not eternal. Nevertheless, with Covid, the demand was but there is a real search for a perennial activity with things that have always been there and linked to the health system.
How did your recent fundraising go? How will it help you in the development of your development of your company ?
Quantiq has managed to raise 750,000 euros which will be completed with non-dilutive funds such as : credits, convertible bonds, grants, competitions... The fund raising will allow to acquire all the medical certifications because in the medical field there is no possibility to without certifications such as CE marking, quality standards, risks, etc. In parallel, clinical tests have been.
In parallel, clinical tests have been carried out in order to verify the validity of the solution and its accuracy compared to a reference.
The "CE" marking alone represents 300,000 euros. Regarding clinical tests, the costs are high because it requires patients and doctors to supervise the tests. The aim of the fundraising is to improve the metrics developed by the company, to create new metrics, to carry out clinical tests and to improve the quality of the product.
New metrics, to carry out clinical tests in order to be able to release a product for the medical staff.
What advice would you give to project leaders like you?
People who have a similar background, having completed a thesis or laboratory as explained above, are encouraged to explained above are invited to be more open to anything related to the commercial sector, according to Fabien Niel and his experience, There are so many things to discover in order to set up a company and it is this rich adventure that I am referring to.