The Killid Group: Hello Dr. Nateqi! Thank you so much for speaking with us today. We would like to first know about you, your career and what you have done so far at the Symptoma.com.
Dr. Yama Nateqi: My name is Yama Nateqi. I am a medical doctor and cofounder and manager of Symptoma. Symptoma is an artificial doctor. Patients and doctors enter symptoms, answer questions and receive a list of mentioned causes sorted by probability. Thus, we help patients and doctors to uncover even really rare diseases. I have been named Austrian of the Year for the fourteen years of research I did at Symptoma. There was no application process, so I was chosen among 8.5 million citizens in Austria and was then awarded with this title, the Austrian of the Year, which is of course funny because I was born and raised in Germany and originally I am from Afghanistan.
So they made an exception because I am living and working since 16 years in Austria and I also did mid school here in 2002.
The Killid Group: Thank you doctor! Now, we would like you to elaborate a little bit on your studying career and your company; where did you do your studies and who accompanies along your company?
Dr. Yama Nateqi: I am 37 years old and was born and raised in Germany. In 1999, I founded my first tech company; at that time I was 16 years old and studied high school. Since 2002, I worked with Thomas Lutz who has equal shares in our company. He is a German chess champion and a physicist. I have studied medicine in Salzburg which is a city in Austria. And, I performed research for my doctor thesis in the USA at the Yale University. During my studies, I focused on brain surgery. In 2006, I founded Symptoma, and now we have 70 people in our company. They are from Austria, Germany, France, Pakistan, China, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and many other countries. So, we all work and research in Symptoma.com together.
The Killid Group: Are you interested to visit Afghanistan, serving the nation with a fragile health system?
Dr. Yama Nateqi: We have still strong ties to our home country. My dear grandfather was police chief in Kabul and he died at the young age because of lack of healthcare during war time in Afghanistan. At that time I was five years old. And I only met him once in my life. It was then when I decided to become a doctor and help people in countries such as in Afghanistan. And now we provide Symptoma’s technology for free to thousands of patients and doctors in Afghanistan every month and each year. My company is granting scholarships to Afghan students who are looking for finest studies. Both parents are civil engineers after the war ended in 2002, my father immediately jumped in a car and drove three weeks to Afghanistan during winter time to help building up country. He did this for 16 years until his retirement two years ago. And my dear mother was a volunteer teacher for Afghan children in Germany and also now helps many Afghans to get to run in Germany. So we did not wait for better times to serve Afghan people in and outside of Afghanistan. And of course I will be aiming for the time to visit my home country, Afghanistan for a long period of time.
The Killid Group: What is an overall picture you have of Afghanistan, especially in the field of healthcare; how do you assess the health situation in the country?
Dr. Yama Nateqi: I am too far away to share a reliable opinion on the current health assessment of Afghanistan with you. However, I can speak for the global health care challenges. Currently, four (4) billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate healthcare, and each year one and half million lives could be saved with the right diagnoses. Some mistake causes a huge problem. Furthermore, worldwide 8 million doctors so far have been trained; however, even if we had trained 16 million doctors, we still would to have to provide access to healthcare in rural areas of many countries. This is why we believe that doctors and patients have to be supported via the internet and via technology.
The Killid Group: Thank you very much Dr. Yama Nateqi for agreeing to this interview.
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