French startup unveils AI model for disease diagnosis

Bioptimus, founded in February with $35 million in seed funding, aims for further development to expand its model’s capabilities across different levels of human biology.

 Person, Security

French startup Bioptimus has unveiled an AI model, H-optimus-0, designed to assist in disease research and diagnosis. The AI model, trained on hundreds of millions of images, can perform complex tasks such as identifying cancerous cells and detecting genetic abnormalities in tumours. Bioptimus claims it is the largest open-source model for pathology, aiming to enhance transparency and accelerate medical advancements.

The launch of H-optimus-0 is part of a broader trend of leveraging AI for medical breakthroughs. Similar initiatives include Google’s DeepMind and its AlphaFold system and American startup K Health, which recently raised $50 million for its patient-interfacing chatbot. Despite these advancements, there is widespread concern about AI in healthcare. A 2023 Pew Research Center survey indicated that 60% of patients are uncomfortable with doctors relying on AI for their care.

Bioptimus CTO Rodolphe Jenatton emphasised that this release is just the beginning, with plans for further developments to extend the model’s capabilities beyond tissue analysis. The startup, founded in February with backing from French biotech firm Owkin Inc., secured $35 million in seed funding from investors including Bpifrance and telecom billionaire Xavier Niel.