Innovator spotlight: Jacob Jaremko
In 2018, Jacob co-founded MEDO, which develops software that can create 3D ultrasound images and, using artificial intelligence trained on thousands of previous cases, suggest diagnoses. With MEDO’s technology, a health-care provider can tell if a patient has pneumonia or a collapsed lung, for example, without sending them to a hospital’s radiology department. MEDO is a member of the U of A Health Hub and Accelerator.
We’re excited to introduce you to Jacob in this week’s Innovator Spotlight.
What’s one big problem you want to solve through your work?
Canada is a physically huge country with a spread-out population, where a lot of people have limited access to the best medical care. When you have to drive six hours in a snowstorm or fly from a northern village into the big city just to get an ultrasound, you will be pretty tempted to put that test off, even if your health is at risk. People who might be reluctant to go to the hospital for cultural or social reasons are just as isolated. I would like to bring expert medical imaging to everyone.
How do you describe your work to people who don’t work in your field?
Medical images like X-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs look inside the body to find out what is wrong with sick patients — but they can be complicated to interpret. My goal is to make expert analysis of these images more easily available to the whole population with the help of computer technology. We are particularly excited about ultrasound, which uses handheld portable probes that can plug into smartphones. These probes can be kept at medical clinics or even travel in ambulances.