Dr. Kira Radinsky, CEO and co-founder at Diagnostic Robotics, can talk about many cases where an investor decided not to invest in her startup because she was a woman or asked questions that they would never ask a man such as “how can you be a CEO if you have kids?”. However, she remains optimistic regarding the role women can play in the tech sector. “I believe we are the leaders of a new generation where it’s okay to do it all, it’s okay to be a human being. Men, women, basically any gender or race.”
Radinsky’s story is full of adversity beginning in-utero in Kiev during the Chernobyl disaster and her family’s subsequent move to Israel during the Gulf war. Raised solely by her mother and grandmother, both engineers, Radinsky began her career working with predictive models in 2006. “I was part of a team building a search engine for Microsoft back when Google barely existed. In parallel, I was working with aid organizations like the UN. I predicted issues such as the Sudan riots, I really learned a lot,” Radinsky recalls. However, over time, Radinsky realized there was one important factor regarding predictions that made all the difference. “Predicting is nice but predicting something you can actually do something about is so much better.”
CTech’s She-inspires series follows the stories of various female leaders in Israel. The interviewees hail from various sectors: some work at high level positions in large organizations, some are founders, and some are key players in industries aimed at changing the world for the better. The goal is to learn where they came from, where they are going and how they are bringing inspiration to an entire sector making its way towards a glass ceiling just waiting to burst.
After completing her PhD and her time at Microsoft, Radinsky met her co-founder, Yaron Zakai-Or. Together they built SalesPredict, a company specializing in economic prediction working with B2B companies and helping them almost triple their conversion rates. At one point, the company was sold to eBay where Radinsky started eBay research, with a team of almost 70 people located in Israel, Germany and the U.S.
In parallel to eBay, Radinsky decided she wanted to move to healthtech. “I always wanted to do something in health care but I didn’t know anything about it. I met Prof. Varda Shalev and we decided to do something together. That is where I started to understand the language. I always had two feet on the ground. Even when I would build systems it was always important for me to see them applied. That is because I want to solve problems that really matter. I wanted to devote my life to making an impact, you can’t do that from an academic perspective, especially not in healthcare. You need to build it.”
Radinsky met Prof. Moshe Shoham, the former founder of Mazor Robotics which was sold to Medtronic for $1.6 billion in 2018. Together with Yonatan Amir they started Diagnostic Robotics, a company developing a signal-agnostic artificial intelligence system for healthcare insurers, providers, and patients. The company, that helps predict which patients will benefit from proactive interventions and improve the point of care, raised $45 million in a Series B funding round in July, taking its total funding to date to around $70 million.
“I started building an AI system that interviews patients in the ER and predicts how to navigate those patients so people would wait less,” explained Radinsky. “In The U.S. the team understood an important problem – 70% of people in ER rooms shouldn’t have been there in the first place. So we understood the issue was with primary care, and started looking there.”
Through that work, Radinsky understood that much of the issue is preventative. “We gained access to 60 billion claims, access to meetings of physicians with patients. So we built a system that detects deteriorating patients and what we can do to stop the deterioration. The system tries to identify patients we can save, that is the concept of triage. We automate processes and a lot of things are found as we go along.”
What would your tip be for fellow female entrepreneurs?
Radinsky equates entrepreneurship to jumping off a cliff and making your parachute as you fall. “The first thing I would tell them is to just jump, don’t overthink it. It’s a survival thing. Then, after you jump you can see how well you are doing. Also, celebrating success is important – It will give you power to start.”
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