Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek has launched a new venture that aims to disrupt the healthcare industry. The brand-new startup, called Neko Health, is a departure from Ek’s music-streaming background and focuses on early disease detection and preventive care.
Ek has forever changed the music industry. Now his goal is even bigger – to disrupt healthcare.
The hard part will be getting people comfortable with the idea of scanning their body,” said Spotify founder Daniel Ek.
Neko Health aims to revolutionize the healthcare industry by providing advanced full-body scanning services to assist doctors in the early detection and prevention of serious illnesses.
Early detection and prevention of serious illness would mean that we could avoid both the human suffering and the high social costs that serious illness entails. With our technology and AI, that future is now a possibility. This could be the basis for a completely revolutionary era in healthcare, said Hjalmar Nilsonne, co-founder of Neko Health.
The startup has officially launched following a rigorous four-year research period, backed by prominent Swedish healthcare laboratories.
Addressing the lack of resources for physicians
Neko Health is addressing the issue in the current healthcare system where doctors lack the resources and time to prioritize preventive care.
The founders believe that early detection and prevention should have high priority. Ek believes that the healthcare system needs to shift from being reactive to proactive, as it was designed over 50 years ago and has an unsustainable cost trend.
In November 2022, the company opened its first clinic, called Atrium, in Stockholm, dedicated to patients, and is poised for growth. This is with a focus on continuously improving their examinations through the implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence technology.
As per its founders, it is not the sick person who should apply to Neko Health. The idea is that care should be proactive instead of reactive. Daniel Ek compares the fact that in Sweden they have had mandatory car inspections since 1965.
We have to check our cars so they don’t break down. But in healthcare, they are perfectly fine with you crashing, only then we will check ourselves,” he says in the press release.
In this clinic, patients can receive non-invasive treatments, followed by a doctor’s consultation. The 15 minutes examinations, which cost €150 per patient, will gather over 50 million data points about various aspects of the body, including the skin, heart, and respiration, using AI technology. The company expects its diagnostic abilities to improve over time.
Backed up by Ek and other investors
Daniel Ek and Hjalmar Nilsonne founded Neko Health in 2018, which has since received over €30 million in investment, mostly from Ek and his investment company, Prima Materia. In 2022, Neko Health opened a primary care clinic called Atrium in Stockholm and began promoting its full-body scanning services.
The company raised an additional SEK 51.5 million (about €4.5 million) at the end of the year, as part of a funding round earlier in the year.
Neko Health has now moved its full-body scanning services to a new clinic in the city center, which is already booking up quickly, according to a spokesperson.