Using what he learned about AI from MIT, this pediatrician created an diagnostic app to helping men overcome sexual disease stigmas

Men who have benefited from using the HeHealth mobile app to perform self pre-diagnosis of embarrassing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before seeking help in public clinics will resonate with the reasons that compelled the inventor of the platform, Dr Yudara Kularathne, to create the AI-driven software.

The doctor, who wants people to address him as Yudara, had seen how one of his friends had entertained daily suicidal thoughts after a ‘one-night-stand-gone-wrong’. Fears of contracting AIDS were being fueled by conflicting online medical information/disinformation, and it pained Yudara to see him like this.

That was when the emergency specialist realized he had to find a solution to minimize the social stigma of men who seek professional treatment for STDs rather than let them fend for themselves with the plethora of online information and opinions that are not necessarily trustworthy.

He was born to help overcome sexual stigmata

And that was how HeHealth was born. Armed with not only his medical training and experience but also a 2020 post-graduate education at MIT in AI, Yudara soon created an app that lets users send in a picture of their genitals, so that an AI back-end system can process the visual information to deliver an accurate diagnosis, with strict anonymity. Armed with this information, the distraught users will be motivated to seek prompt treatment via the right medical facilities, as needed.

Despite massive challenges in innovating the screening technology behind the app, Yudara persisted in his mission to provide men with safe, available option to turn to when and if they are too embarrassed or are unable to visit an STD clinic. 

Mei Ling, his wife and co-founder, had helped to smoothen out the user experience of the application, making the screening process more accessible and efficient despite difficult in finding the requisite data sets to train the AI system. After a period of piloting the app, the couple soon managed to convince naysayers and sceptics to reverse their reservations to contribute toward improving the prototypes.

Investors slowly began to express interest in their app as well. But that is not all from the HeHealth team. In time to come, they are hoping to upgrade the platform with more accessible functions, including the detect and diagnosis of Monkeypox.