Fireside chat with Dr. Nadine Nehme from medicus.ai

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Medicus AI is an innovative technology company that helps people understand their health by explaining their medical reports and health data to them in a personalized, easy-to-understand, and visual way. +

Today’s fireside chat with Dr. Nadine Nehme, Chief Science Officer at medicus.ai.

Describe yourself and your business in a few words.

Nadine Nehme: A curious scientist and medical researcher with 13 years of experience in genetics, genomics, and immunology. I hold a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Louis Pasteur University and performed my post-doctoral studies at Necker Hospital, Paris, where I focused on inherited immune diseases and genetics. 

I also held the position of university lecturer for 4 years where I focused on transmitting my knowledge in the fields of molecular and human genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and fundamental and clinical immunology. Being fond of technology and believing that technology drives healthcare, sciences, and the medical field more than any other force, my latest challenge was leaving academia in June 2015 to co-found Medicus as its Chief Science Officer.

Coming from a medical sciences background, I have always received calls from friends and family regarding their medical reports. The medical reports are quite obscure for the layman and a random google search does not help at all, if anything, it aggravates the situation. To cut a long story short, I strongly believe that patients should not struggle to understand their health as this is a crucial milestone toward a healthier life. Based on this, we worked towards building a platform that helps patients understand their health in an interactive and personalized way.

Medicus AI is an innovative technology company that helps people understand their health by explaining their medical reports and health data to them in a personalized, easy-to-understand, and visual way. Through its consumer apps and enterprise software, Medicus is focused on bringing meaning to data, by helping patients and users understand their health, and augmenting the roles of doctors, midwives, and other healthcare providers through innovative data visualization, patient communication, and remote monitoring tools.

Why is it profitable for your business to be in Vienna Region?

Nadine Nehme: There are many compelling reasons for startups to select Vienna as a business location. Austria has a geographic advantage of proximity to the emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, our biggest market. It’s central location as a hub allows quick access to most European countries. 

Vienna has a robust startup infrastructure with plenty of co-working spaces and accelerators providing vital support for entrepreneurs founding startups. We explored several European cities before deciding on establishing Medicus in Viena, and one key factor was the support provided to us by the Vienna StratUp Package program of the Vienna Business Agency, and INiTS, the Vienna Business Incubator for innovative research/technology-based startups. 

Another key factor is the local interdisciplinary talent pool. Vienna has more than 20 universities making it among the most important student cities in the world, holds the position of the Central European center for basic and applied research with about 750 R & D companies. 

 Then comes the quality of life in Vienna! Vienna has the highest quality of life in the world and was awarded as the “most prosperous city” by the United Nations and surveys by Mercer and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In addition to Vienna being a talent factory, fed by graduates from leading universities, its affordable cost of living makes it easier to attract some of the world’s best medical and technical talents.

Vienna Regions means for me …. 

Nadine Nehme: I have a soft spot for Vienna. I discovered, lived, and fell in love with the city during my Ph.D. studies.  I pursued my PhD studies in at the Institue of  Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC), Strasbourg, and had the opportunity to collaborate with the Laboratory of Prof. Joseph Penninger at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), Vienna. The innovative project lasted around 2 years during which I enjoyed discovering Vienna Regions.  

I am a fan of culture, arts, classical music, and beautiful sceneries, and the Vienna Region has a lot to offer on all fronts. The city of Vienna is a beautiful place to live in, with its vibrant and rich culture and a variety of events and exhibitions taking place all year round practically. It is ranked the world’s top city for the quality of life and is a great place to study. My experience was very enriching, I met people from all over the world while doing my research at the BioCenter.

Three things you love about Vienna Region

Nadine Nehme: Coffeehouses, music, and Vienna woods!

Is there anything you miss in Vienna Region?

Nadine Nehme: The Viennese scenery evolved quickly during the last 10 years. The city is becoming more and more cosmopolitan. Yet, a more active venture capital/financing ecosystem would be helpful. We had to obtain most of our financing from elsewhere. We also faced a few challenges with corporate and labor law in Austria, which has some quite unusual features compared to Anglo-Saxon law and compared to neighboring countries like Germany.

Three arguments for future businesses to bring their business to Vienna Region

Nadine Nehme: Vienna has a vibrant ecosystem for startups, thanks to its interdisciplinary talent pool and hub position in Central Europe. One of the greatest strengths of Vienna’s startup infrastructure is its community. The ecosystem is easily reached, people are very helpful and open with newcomers after the ice is broken. Another big advantage for Vienna is the cost-effective office space which allows even young companies to rent offices that are centrally located.

What is your favourite place in Vienna Region and why?

Nadine Nehme: I think it’s obvious by now what my favorrite part of the Vienna Region is the city of Vienna. With great coffeehouses, excellent music, and the abundance of culture in a bicycle-friendly frame, who can ask for more.

Name three problems you had to overcome when starting up your business in Vienna Region.

N adine Nehme: Understanding the corporate legal system wasn’t easy in the beginbing as we were coming from Dubai, UAE, which has more of an Anglo-Saxon approach. 

The business culture in Austria requires a high level of formality and politesse, even in the startup world. When addressing someone,  formal titles are always used. So we adapted to the local culture in work and communication. 

Thank you Nadine, for your time!