Wefight answers questions about chronic illness with its virtual assistant – TechCrunch

Meet Wefight, a French startup which has created more than a dozen apps for people with chronic illnesses. People can ask questions about their condition and receive answers using a simple chatbot interface.
The startup raised $11.6 million (10,000,000) in a funding round from Digital Health Ventures and Impact Partners as well as existing investors Investir&+, BADGEs business angels.

Wefight has created a unique app for each chronic disease. All of them are based on Vik, a virtual assistant. More than a dozen apps are available for multiple cancers such as asthma and depression.

Vik is basically an interface between Wefights content and the patient. Everything has been developed in-house by the company, including natural-language processing technology and the framework Wefight uses to create new apps.

The service attempts to understand each patient's question and then finds the relevant information in its knowledge base.

The content can then be relayed and served to the patient. Professional pharmacists have written the content. They try to make it as neutral and informative as possible. You don't have to wait until your next doctor appointment to review your questions.

Vik won't replace anyone in the care pathway. Benoit Brouard, CEO and co-founder of Vik, told me.

It seems that there is a gap. The service has been used by more than 400,000 people. Vik has provided 5 million answers. Wefight currently has 70 employees. Wefight works with patients organizations to help them find new users.

Wefight partners with pharmaceutical companies to fund new applications. To make a treatment a commercial success, it is important that patients are able to identify the chronic illness they are suffering from. Vik is a content provider at the top of the funnel.

We decrease clinical inertia. Brouard stated that Vik Asthma is funded by a lab. The lab has no control over the content we create. He said that laboratories want asthma patients to see a pulmonologist.

The pool of potential patients who might end up purchasing a drug is larger. This is a complicated sales strategy for pharmaceutical companies. Vik, however, could help patients live a better quality of life.

The company will expand internationally with today's funding round. A new Berlin office is planned. Wefight hires local doctors and contacts local patient organizations every time it launches an app in a new country. Although it is a lengthy process, Wefight has the ability to make sure that patients around the globe are treated well.