Dr. Ronald Razmi has been a fixture in the healthcare innovation scene for a long time. As a medical resident at the Mayo Clinic, he was developing technologies that could improve the management of cardiac patients. Later as a cardiologist, he was one of the pioneers in the use of MRI imaging in improving the care of patients with heart disease. He developed a software platform that accelerated the use of this technology across the globe. He co-wrote the book “Handbook of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”
After a few years of working as a McKinsey consultant where he advised Venture Capital and Private Equity firms in investing in medical innovation, he launched a digital health company to address the thorny issue of population health management. Combining medical data, software, and artificial intelligence, the Acupera platform enabled medical providers to proactively address key health issues in patients with chronic diseases. By identifying medical problems before they lead to an ER visit or hospitalization, patient outcomes can be improved and costs significantly reduced.
Realizing the transformational powers of AI in improving health, he is now focused in ensuring that this transformation happens as completely and quickly as possible. He launched Zoi Capital in 2022 to invest in the most promising health AI companies across the world. Realizing that many of the innovators and investors in healthcare spend time and resources developing AI solutions with little chance of adoption, he has authored a book that lays out a roadmap for the future of AI in healthcare.
“AI Doctor: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare” (Wiley, 2023) will be released later this year and will aim to serve as a guide for investors, innovators, and healthcare providers. This book examines the drivers and barriers of AI technologies in healthcare and why so many well-funded and promising companies never gain traction in the real world. He examines the short-, medium-, and long-term use cases for investments. The book lays out a blueprint that the entrepreneurs and investors can use when making decisions about building and funding these technologies. He also writes a weekly blog (AI Doctor blog) that examines the latest developments in this space.
After spending the last two decades being a cardiologist, consultant, entrepreneur, and now investor, Ron has a unique perspective on how healthcare can be improved. He credits the astounding progress made over the last century in improving life expectancy and other health measures to the industrial revolution. It allowed creation of wealth and expertise that led to funding and performing medical research. The next few decades hold even greater promise for progress and AI will be the foundational technology that will make much of that possible.
Although investment and company formation in healthcare AI has dramatically increased in the last few years, most of the solutions commercialized to date have not seen much adoption. Ron attributes this to the complexity of healthcare compared to other industries, lack of the cross-functional expertise required to invest in the right solutions, and an antiquated existing technology infrastructure. There has been progress over the last decade in upgrading the digital technologies in healthcare and that progress has the set the stage for faster adoption of AI solutions in the coming years. “the solutions that will gain traction solve mission-critical needs, have a light implementation roadmap, and have access to a reliable flow of data” he says.
With Zoi Capital, Ron sees an opportunity to shape and accelerate the coming revolution of AI in healthcare. “Future of health is extremely bright. People will receive preventive and convenient care at a fraction of the cost. But the road to get there will be bumpy and picking the winners requires insider knowledge and expertise”. While writing AI Doctor, he realized that sourcing and diligencing the best deals in this emerging sector required a novel approach. As such, Zoi capital has been built on a foundation of assets and workflows especially designed to find the subset of health AI companies that meet a stringent set of criteria. “Ensuring that capital flows to the right health AI companies is the best way to ensure this bright future happens sooner than later.”
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Ronald M. Razmi, MD