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7 March, 2018 - 13:54 By Tony Quested

AI healthcare startup OKRA raises $4.16m

A Cambridge artificial intelligence startup that enables you to talk to your data, ask natural language questions and get evidence-based answers in real-time has raised $4.16 million in a Series A round led by the entrepreneur and investor, Jim Cockburn.

OKRA’s AI driven proposition is said to go beyond insights and is set to focus on delivering considerable value to healthcare and global brand businesses.

The St John’s Innovation Centre-based company is building its AI engine to answer millions of healthcare and business-related questions, providing predictions, answers and triggers for future business outcomes and KPIs in real-time.

OKRA’s engine can process any real-world data (RWD) source, ranging from medical records, CRM, claims, sales, consumer, and brand measurement data.
Since launching in 2015, OKRA has won the prestigious MIT Technology Review award – in 2017 – and CEO Loubna Bouarfa was nominated for the Global Women in IT award 2018.

OKRA has already generated over a million answers and predictions from data sources on topics ranging from patient related outcomes, to brand performance KPIs.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning is currently being adopted by large corporations but over time, businesses of all sizes will consider this to be a key part of their marketing strategies and planning.

The funds will be used for further development and productisation of the OKRA engine and to expand its sales and marketing capabilities within the healthcare, global brands and social care sectors.

Founder and CEO Loubna Bouarfa said: “The healthcare and global brands industries have been dominated by one-off insight studies. Both industries urgently need to shift to drive evidence-based outcomes continuously in real-time, so they can better adapt to a rapidly changing world.

“With our OKRA platform, we use our evidence-based AI engine to provide predictions, answers and trigger actions in real-time to maximise outcomes of patients, brands and clients. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to draw on Jim Cockburn’s experience.”

Cockburn added: “OKRA’s approach is unique and the team is highly credible to shift the industry mindset from performing one-off studies to continuously improving outcomes in the real-world.

“This outcome-driven approach can be applied to almost every industry, for example in foster care we can use OKRA’s technology to better match children to foster carers and drive better outcomes for children such as education and social development.

“The need to drive outcomes is crucial for every brand, service and industry. I’m very excited about the position and opportunity that OKRA has in this field.” 

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Loubna Bouarfa

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