February 1, 2018

A UK AI healthcare startup has signed a major trade deal with China’s Tencent

The artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare startup Medopad has announced over £100m in trade deals with Chinese companies, including Tencent.

Medopad’s chief executive Dan Vahdat accompanied the UK prime minister Theresa May on a visit to China this week. Other business bosses visiting China with May included Jessica Butcher, co-founder of augmented reality (AR) startup Blippar and Nikhil Rathi, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange. 

Medopad creates remote patient monitoring apps, and uses mobile technology and advanced analytics to deliver efficient care to patients. The company has signed 15 trade deals with Chinese organisations that will see it advance the use of AI in healthcare platforms across China.

As part of Medopad’s deal with China resources for instance, it will see Medopad’s technology deployed across 600 hospitals over the next five years. In addition, the startup is going to work with the pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline’s Chinese division to support patients across China using GSK’s products.

However, Medopad’s deal with Tencent is particularly important, given Tencent’s status as the biggest company in Asia in terms of market cap. In addition, Tencent owns Chinese biggest social media platform, WeChat, with nearly 1bn users.

Speaking about the deals, Vahdat said:

“We are honoured to announce collaborations and projects with leading Chinese and international healthcare, technology, academic and corporate partners.

“Together we will work to improve patient care in China and around the world, and we look forward to our technology and AI capabilities contributing small path towards China’s healthcare reform goals.”

As well as the China deals, the company says it is expanding in the UK and globally. It says it is going to create 500 UK jobs over the next two years.

This is an important moment for the company which only launched in 2011. It has been called a “unicorn in the making” by research consultancy KPMG, the term given to startups that are worth over $1bn.