Oct. 20, 2022

How to skip the hospital visit and use your phone to detect anomalies related to oncology diseases with Georgi Kadrev

How to skip the hospital visit and use your phone to detect anomalies related to oncology diseases with Georgi Kadrev

Imagine if you could skip the hospital visit and use your phone to detect anomalies related to vascular conditions and oncology diseases. Sounds futuristic? Well, Bulgarian startup founder Georgi Kadrev is making this a reality with Kelvin Health. Kelvin Health is a clinical decision support tool that utilizes a mobile thermal imaging camera that captures the heat of the body, segments the thermal image, and applies artificial intelligence to digitally assess your vascular condition. It’s like having the superpowers of Predator in the palms of your hand. 

If you’re excited about the future of health tech, this is the episode for you. List at Apple Podcast, Spotify, or other players here.

Do you wish to connect with our special guest?
Visit George’s website:

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Past Guests:


Past guests on Innovators Can Laugh include Yannik Veys, Ovi Negrean, Arnaud Belinga, Csaba Zajdó, Dagobert Renouf, Andrei Zinkevich, Viktorija Cijunskyte, Lukas Kaminskis, Pija Indriunaite, Monika Paule, PhD, Vytautas Zabulis, Leon van der Laan, Ieva Vaitkevičiūtė.


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#53 Tzvete Doncheva - Overcoming barriers to get into a VC with Tzvete Doncheva

#50 Vidmantas Šiugždinis - Personalized Approach to Employee Benefits with MELP

#49 Markus and Daniel - The Digital Memory Album for You and Your Family

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#42 Csaba Zajdó - Top Startup in Europe for E-commerce: OptiMonk

#30 Andrius Rimkunas - The smart, wireless, GPS-powered alarm system

Tune in to every conversation about exciting European Startups and Innovators on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon! Leave a rating and review so we can keep making amazing interviews!

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Innovators Can Laugh in your favorite podcast player.

Connect with Eric:
Visit his website: https://innovatorscanlaugh.com

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Hey, ICO fans. Imagine if you could skip the hospital visit and use your phone to detect anomalies related to vascular conditions in oncology diseases. Sounds futuristic. Well, Bulgarian startup founder, Georgie Kra, is making this a reality with Kelvin Health. Calvin Health is a clinical decision support tool that utilizes a mobile thermal imaging camera that captures the heat of the body, segments the thermal image, and applies artificial intelligence to digitally assess your vascular condition.

It's like having the powers of predator in the palms of your hands. Let's dive in as we learn about Georgie, his background and how this innovation is currently being tested and hospital. Hey, you're listening to Innovators Can Laugh, The Fun Startup Podcast. I'm your host, Eric Notcher on ico. We interview an innovative entrepreneur in the European tech startup scene every week.

My goal is to have my guests share their wisdom or having the little fun in the process. Now, let's dive in. All right. Georgie, cut the riff. Welcome to Innovators Can Laugh. How are you doing today? Georgie, Nice to meet you. All good. Always pumped for work. It's already been some hours in the workday, so I'm kind of excited about what's going to be ahead.

Yeah, yeah. Now I'm excited to chat with you. I like to always start at the beginning and ask my guests, where did you grow up and how has that shaped the view of the world? For you. I'm originally born in the town of Russ, which is actually on the border with Romania very close to, and I've been living a quarter with quite mixed ethnicities.

This is not super common for Bulgaria as much. It is for the US, for example, but we had people, some different ethnic background. I think this was quite kind of interesting to me. I've always been. All point to various cultures because even in Bulgaria we can see this phenomena. I've studied, you know, elementary school in the same quarter, and I got super excited about mathematics.

I had the chance to have very, I'd say, good math teachers that got me excited about abstract thinking and math. So I think this has been an important part of my life at the very beginning of it, to get excited about the things that I'm still doing one way or another. Okay. I was okay with math, with calculus I had trouble with.

Did you ever have trouble with Calculus Georgia? I don't think so. Maybe the only thing sometimes I was thinking and over complicating thing. Sometimes they were simpler and I was looking. For more complex problem, so then missing to solve the simplest one. But in general, I wouldn't say I struggled a lot.

Yeah. Yeah. I had to take calculus three times to pass the course in university and so I admire anybody who always had problems with calculus like myself there, , Sorry, that I don't fit . Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Now, as a kid, was there somebody in particular a profession that you wanted to. When you grew up are, did you know at a young age that you were gonna start your own company?

I wanted to be an astronaut maybe for a week, just because it was modern and when you ask a kid what they want to become, all of them were saying, I want to become an astronaut and then go in space. But then I, this ended up at the moment when I found out the book, it was called Children I Recycled of Sciences.

It was like a blue book. I still remember the cover. I think you have a copy here in the office to remember. Basically, I opened on the last pages and I saw a picture. It was not a photo, it was like a painted picture of a computer and a whole page about computers. And I got super, super excited about this whole thing, how it can save all things in terms of time, resources based on automation, on data science, on computer science.

Even DIS was back in the nineties. And I think since, literally since this very moment, I fall in love for computers, even before it was super modern, even before, we know that this is the highest job in Bulgaria, one way or another. And so this is how I started and I, I feel very lucky actually, that I found alive quite early.

The thing that I feel passionate about. All right. All right. Now, how did that start to shape your career path? What did your early career path look like? Georgie? So in Bulgaria it's quite common actually to start working while we are still the university. So when I was second grade in the university, I found a job related to managing medical documents.

Actually, it's something that I haven't even recalled since recently. And it was pretty, pretty good job in in a company that's working with the medical documents, as I said. And I was very happy because I was able to apply the things that I've learned in high school also as extra secure activities.

So I just worked there for a year, then I transferred to company and that's about computer games there. The first Bulgarian game computer game was created by this company, and I was playing StarCraft back then, so I only. Chance I found this, this company, I've worked there for quite some time, almost five years, and I was studying the first bachelor of science in informatics or computer science for to to stated, and then I started the master degree in technology entrepreneurship.

Actually, this was the moment when I was beaten by that entrepreneurial. Literally, I was thinking, should I go and study artificial intelligence as master degree? But almost by chance I found the explanation of the new master degree program in technology entrepreneurship. And I, it resonated a lot with me just because in high school I was also thinking about how the projects that I'm working.

As extra curr activities and won some national competitions. Now, could this be actually products that can make money and be useful for people? So this master degree and description of the master and degree program resonated their well, and this is how I started and this is how I started my company while still in, in the university.

At first, this was just me. Then a few more people joined. The co-founders, all sellers. No, nothing. I worked for maybe two years in a different place. Still the gaming company while shaping. And how I can do something with iga as the company's called. Mm-hmm. , and this has been one of the pioneers in image recognition, actually one of the very first company that started creating recognition APIs globally.

Then a few more startups followed, and Amazon, Google, and Microsoft also release. Mostly through acquisitions, certain type of image, API services, and not too take too long. But my, my latest entrepreneurial debut and one that I'm very excited, felt in a very caring father of is Calvin help. And this actually started two years ago and it was very opportunistic and by chance.

Literally in the first week of the Covid 19 lockdown Ingar, a team of medical specialists contacted us and asked, you know, guys, can you use a mobile thermal camera like this one, very affordable, that you can click on the bottom of your phone and basically capture the heat of the body. And we said, We don't know what these thermal cameras are.

We don't know what Covid is because there were not a lot of science in the very first months for it, but let's try it. Mm-hmm. , a lot of things changed, but we ended up currently, since the last one year, we're very focused on vascular pathology, and this is something that I'm super excited about. I'm another medical person.

We took some courses on medicine. A year ago to just understand better the whole thing. And now we are trying to enable much more efficient and accessible healthcare for vascular pathology. Okay. Okay. What inspired the name of Kelvin Health? What's inspired that? I, I love to think of names of startups and companies.

I even given a few names to other companies. Back in the years, I think we were just brainstorming and you know what this should be and because it's related to temperature is about fully temperature and Kelvin is one of the most important scientists in the area of thermography and he has discovered thermodynamics cetera.

So we just decided, let's name the project Kelvin. Then we decided that we want to put more focus on on health. It has always been designed as a health fraud, but just to make it more obvious. So this is how, basically named it Kelvin Health. Okay. Okay. And when you show people, when you show potential customers or clients, when you demonstrate it how it works, what is it that they, what is it that they really like about.

What fascinates them about Kel Health? So Kel Health is very much into the research stage. So itself something like the product that is now on the market, but it's in the hands of many doctors and many hospitals. Cause we are currently, what we are doing, we are actively collecting data. So for the specific types of pathology, mostly focused as a brief mention to vascular pathology.

Like things related to blockage of your arteries that limit the blood supply of the supply of blood to your limb. Basically what they love about it is that it makes very visible and in a noninvasive way the problem with your blood supply. And this is something that typically is very hard to diagnose.

It's typically the last thing that, that the doctor tried to check. The first check if, let's say, if you have pain in your legs, they would check if you have orthopedic chronological problem, and maybe just a few months later, if they don't find anything, they'll go to the vascular specialist. And some of those conditions are very dangerous.

They can lead to amputation or even death if they're left and treated. What we reverse or what we change in this process is actually that we make it super easy and accessible. Just to show you, as I said with this camera, if I pointed to myself, you can see the blunt supply in different parts of my body.

In this case, its you know, just the head for visualization purposes. But for example, my. It's very normal that they're warmer than the rest of my face, as well as the, as the area around my mouth, because it's more well supplied with blood. It's warmer. Yeah. So if we use this analogy, If your legs are not warm enough in certain areas, this literally means that there's problem with world supply.

And this is super easy screen. You get, you said, in just not doing the sales pitch. It's so easy and it's all close to real time, but just see how this temperature is distributor in our body and I think this is what's specialists love and what. Or the hospitals future customers will love is that it's super easy and cast noninvasive, long recognition meeting.

But our big vision, to be honest, is to bring this to the consumer. So the way I have this right now, maybe I have this in my home and it's cast for certain conditions, especially if I'm in risk groups for some conditions, let's say with diabetic patients with diabetes, they have huge chance, unfortunately, have forming flood clots and stenosis like narrow down of their arteries.

It's very useful to, to an audition advance if it starts progressing so it can reverse the process before it gets to certain type of, This is so fascinating. For those that are listening, you've gotta check the podcast out on YouTube so you can see the video demonstration. But Georgie is just basically taking his phone.

And he's just putting it in front of him like he's taking a selfie, but you can see the body heat at the various parts of his body. So right away, as he said, you can tell if there's a certain part of the body that is not getting adequate blood supply based on the color. Then immediately that there's an issue, that there's a problem.

So right away it's fast and easy to diagnose different things that are, that could be happening with your health. So what are, what are trends that you're seeing when it comes to digital healthcare that you think will also gain traction over the next few years when you combine it with, The technology that you're also using for, for, for Kel Health.

Georgie, yeah. Thank you for this question because literally a week ago I was in advanced it's called Tech Digital Health, and a lot of startups from across Europe, mostly Western Europe, were presenting various types of solutions that are no, in digital health, very technology based. And I can say at least in this track that we were about imaging technologies.

It's mostly about, you have various types of medical imaging modalities, like for example, the x-ray or the ods have been pretty good machines and have been used in practice medical practice for decades. But there's problem with the triple of the specialist. You need special. Technician to operate it and to need somebody to interpret, like the imaging specialist to, I interpret the results of it.

Mm-hmm. or the actual image. And because of that, a lot of companies are trying to either enable this machine to a more affordable, let's, in the case of ultrasound, like sonography in a more portable device or, and or to make certain type of automated analysis. Let's say we have this x-ray image, but maybe it's hard for the.

Interpreting imaging specialists to read it properly, or maybe there's something small that they cannot see. Or maybe there's, even if we take it from the perspective of big data with enough samples that already have problematic patients and their images, you can train a machine learning model that can automate or at least assist in the process of effective problems.

So this is one big trend automating the reading of imaging. So thermal. Imaging is just one particular kins of it. From a startup perspective, something that's very good for us is that it's not developed. For example, we have a lot of extra imaging for MRI imaging, AI analysis startups. Now, literally the last five years, a lot of are popping out.

Some of them are dying, some of them are doing it in mobile term or theor refusal. There's no water exists. But in general, and this is very particular about imaging technologies, so put it that way, automating the process. In general about healthcare and digital health, I think a lot of people are now hyped in a positive way about the value based healthcare, which practically means that in a lot of healthcare systems, the dynamics are super different.

And then depend on the payer, who is paying the bill, who is having the risk, who is pulling the risk, et cetera. And in many cases, the systems are designed in a way that is not necessarily optimal. Both for the patient and for the bear. So how can you bundle those services and how it can maximize the patient, the positive patient outcomes, while at the same time.

Also making as a business, just as a healthcare business, still making good amount of money and as a healthcare system where national, Yeah, no matter if it's national or not. But in general, the nation is the why that if you have a lot of people with health problems, there's a huge economic burden about your nation.

Only if it's not a national healthcare system. So how to align the interest. There are a lot of different services. Some of them are technology based, some of them. Just interesting new business models based how to fix healthcare. So make it work for all parties involved. I think this is a huge trend that I'm seeing.

Okay. It's not just about technology though. Yeah. Yeah. Now you mentioned that it's currently, Kevin Health is currently being tested by various doc and, and different host. Are they? Is it only being tested right now in Bulgaria or is there also being tested in other markets outside of Bulgaria? Yeah, so we have multiple hospitals in Bulgaria that are currently testing this solution.

We have one in Sia and we are currently signing up SEMA Foreign different geographies now from Germany to Switzerland to Italy. To us name to places and India eventually. So these are the seven new locations that we are opening by opening. Basically we provide mobile phones and the cameras to, to teams, to the vascular teams in the vascular audiology departments of those hospitals.

And we do some kind of research collaboration where they. Take photos of patients who already have been diagnosed with a problem or are not diagnosed with a problem. And this is designated phenomen properly and they upload this in our HIPAA and GDPR compliance system to collect data and train machine learning models.

Okay. So a lot literally to every vascular specialist that we show that. They got super, super excited and this is what kind of positively reinforced our enthusiasm to, to keep further. Okay. Has there been any initial investment in Kevin Health, and if so, what was that experience like? Yeah, so Calvin Health actually started as a spinoff from this other company my of ours that I mentioned that we pioneered in general the recognition API concept.

We started with capital from IAG and a few more co-founders that were outside of the Imago founding team currently, which invested approximately. One 3 million into the development of GAL Health. And we are eventually open to outside investments, but this is not something urgent for us. We can basically sustain it through our mother company at Imago in a way.

We also were getting some grants from several pharmaceutical companies. Some of them are interested in breast cancer like Oncology, some of them. Just in general willing to support digital healthcare. Like ro we won the recent RO healthcare lab competition. Not that recent thing anymore know it was in the end of the Q1 or actually in the, in the beginning of, we won the digital early screening and diagnostic track of RO healthcare lab.

So we have also some kind of grant funding. Some local organizations here in Bulgaria are also supporting. Still we are open eventually to, to venture capital mostly for building the network and the reputation. And a lot of people, if you're not funded from the outside, they're asking what's wrong with you, just because that's the startup culture.

So in general, we're open to finding the right partner in investor and work that. Okay. Has there been a book or podcast or article that has stood out in. Impacted how you think about rent your businesses. So you know, I listen to a lot of audio books sometimes to past forecast. I'm not a typical forecast guy to the honest, but I should maybe double to think again about this.

There's one interesting Bulgarian forecast. It's called Superhuman with. Ge, the host of it, and he's asking a lot of people about just their life band news and then what do they think and you know why they're super humans, because he believed that there's a super human in each one of us. I think I've listened to quite some interesting people there.

I've been guess myself as what certain moment. Another very interesting and cool podcast that also is, has video, is the Recursive podcast. I'm not sure if you've heard of it. It's from the recursive media. Mm-hmm. U ATN and Team and zk. Andre, I think it's very well produced and it's also been a pleasure for me to, to be part of it.

I think they are inviting people from Southeast Europe, Europe that can share some things. Maybe earlier in my career in life, I. Thread books or listen to books that shape my general perception, awareness, and understanding about entrepreneurship. I like Simon Sin a lot and general pep talk and motivational speaking though it needs to be taken with pinch, so always.

But I think there are good F in Bulgaria. Also, the Start Pitchy podcast Let is invite inviting people. So I'm trying to learn from the lessons of each of my fellow entrepreneurs. It doesn't need to be something super mind flowing, but sometimes I just hear a sentence and it ring the bell for me and I learn things.

For example, from officer in the, He shared his vision about sales and understanding of sales, and that maybe you're solving a problem for somebody and it's a real problem. But if this is not their top one or top, top two at most, top three problem, if you're solving their top eight problem. You're never able to sell to them just because they're timing.

They have more urgent fires to fight. They need to solve at least top one or top two or top three, and just examples like that. I can have a lot. So I always try to resonate with the knowledge and practical wisdom of my fellow. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Now first, just some, some light questions so the audience can get to know you better, know your personality better.

First question for you is, does corn belong on pizza? Georgie . I don't like corn. No. Nasty. Not at all. . Okay. Okay. I'm in agreement with you. I, we have that in common, . Okay. What is a favorite TV show that you can watch again and again? I like the Casa Deel. It was called Money Heist in English on Netflix. But honestly, I don't have a TV at home, so I only, if I watch something, if I get a time priority to watch something, I, it would be maybe, Kind of Netflix or HBO go I, I like money has the concept of it and one un unconventional answer.

I like meditation and there are pretty interesting shows that I watch there when I meditate. Just your imagination or where your mind goes. So I think this is mostly I would go meditate instead of watch something to be honest. Okay. And the last question for you, I'll start by sharing a story real quick.

Many years ago I went to go a skydive and I went with some fronts and once we were up in the air, about 13,000 feet in this little plane, and it was my turn to go, I got to the door and I looked down and the voice inside my head said, I don't wanna do this. Because I was very scared, but I realized I had to go because if I didn't go, I'd be I'D chicken out and then I'd be known as the chicken.

And so of course I went and I was an unforgettable experience. Question for you. Have you ever been skydiving? And if so, what was that experience like? , thanks for that. You seem to know maybe a little bit of my story as you're asking this. But you know, I've been as a, as a high school student, I was in 11th grade shortly before I graduate a year, and a team of forest shoot landing instructors came to our class and they say, Is there anybody who wants to jump with fire shoot?

And I'm a yes man, as they say. I always like to agree to try things. I'm very curious by nature. And I said, Okay, I wanna go. I sign up and I then I. Was able to step down from it because even if I had my, any dos, should I go there, et cetera, and then I went and we had to jump from two meters in a sand to simulate the landing of the sand fire shoot because this, the sand fire shoot, it's not like a sport one where you can navigate it very well.

Basically you are just dumped from the plane. And you hold this kind of, it looks like a big sheet and you length and when you basically lent on, on two of your legs, hits to be next to each other, so you can handle you know, the hit with the ground. Yeah. And you know, we were practicing, this for me was the most annoying part because how you have to jump from and a half, two meters and we needed to fold our fire shoots as.

Just to learn how this was also bizarre in a way. So I had this experience finally after several months of preparation, and this was extra activity, of course, not something that I've done as a professional, but we were doing it. We had this test. When they spin us on this I chair. Where they tried to spin you so they see if you can handle the vertigo that can eventually can happen to be in such situation.

I didn't feel super well there, but I made it and finally the day the day came, we jumped. I never watched down because I think if I watch down, maybe I wouldn't germ. So I would just watch front and you jump from the plane. And for this, the sun fire shoots as well. You just hang. And when you hang, there's a who and because of gravity, it opens your parachute, the back of her parachute.

And you know, at a certain moment you just feel that, that this is all fun. You look up, you see the sheet, everything is okay, and then you just wait for the landing in way. But you can navigate a little of it, but it's not very maneuvering. And this was good. It was pretty interesting experience also in the context that I, I have here at Heights, especially there maybe afterwards.

I was not that scared anymore. Yeah. So the most scary part was when we were actually close to the ground. Cause if you're up high, you don't see that much of what's underneath. Yeah. and maybe then, Okay. What would happen if I just been dropped from the parachute itself? There's some funny and crazy thoughts and this was a pretty interesting experience.

I'm not sure if I would do this today, being a founder of two kids, et. Ted tried five. Little bit risky, but when I was 16, 17, this looks hard. Yeah. Interestingly enough, the parachute of one of my fellows. Didn't open the main one. We are looking down when we have already landed and we're looking up and we see the airplane that is going Toronto and around so it can control people at the same spot.

And then we saw something falling and we were thinking that this is, I'm not sure how this is going English, but basically they throw a piece of wood with some tick attached to it so they can see where actually you are falling and they can adjust the trajectory of the airplane. And we are thinking, okay, maybe this is this piece of wood that is falling and this.

A few seconds later we saw white blue sheet and white blue is the power of the backup parachute. And we said, Oh my God, this is somebody falling the, Actually he was falling for quite some time. Yeah, it's not a huge height. It's 800 meters in the case of the sun parachute. So, You don't have too much time to react.

Yeah. Luckily this guy managed to, to keep his cool. And also on the, the backup parachute, it turned out later on that somebody hasn't fall properly. The parachute, and we were just throw all the parachute in a huge pile and picking around the one from there and that this was bizarre. I, I heard that the instructor that he has been up in the plane almost went super nervous because of this obvious.

Yeah, but all good, All of us decide. We kept jumping. We didn't get scared even because of that. And even this same guy, he came with his family and he just, he was there. He didn't want to, His family was, His family wasn't there. Okay. Wasn't there at this particular occasion, but they. Came with him on his next jump to support him and not to leave this bad taste in his mouth that this has been something, Yeah.

That he should be afraid of for the rest of his life, for example. So I like this kind of support. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do this for my child or my children, but Respectly thinking, think this was a great thing they did. Yeah. No, I'd probably support my kids, but I'm sure I Sure. My wife, their mother would be like, No, you're not doing that.

Hey, Georgie Kare, thank you for being on Innovators Collapse. It was a pleasure having you here. Thank you very much for having me. It was a hitch pleasure. Yeah, and for ICO fans, tune in next week as we'll. Have Yasin Russe from esque. He's providing the most innovative paint solutions on the market with their carbon neutral whiteboard paints.