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By Adriana Mata

Laura Velasquez Herrera

On October 20 2021, the Women in Big Data Costa Rica Chapter organized an event with Laura Velazquez, President and Cofounder of Arkangel AI and the first Latina woman to win the Global Everis Awards. The hour-long virtual event focused on highlighting recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and how AI can be leveraged to improve healthcare.

During the session, Laura shared the motivation behind founding Arkangel AI. On seeing how one of her closest relatives was affected by the lack of timely healthcare support, Laura was motivated to create tools geared towards making healthcare more accessible. With this initial inspiration, she founded Arkangel AI in 2019.

The firm has successfully developed a state-of-the-art algorithm that detects diseases within seconds by integrating tools and methods from Artificial Intelligence into the clinical workflow. Incorporating AI components such as image processing to detect the signs and biomarkers of different medical conditions has improved responsiveness and disease detection coverage by at least five times and has made the entire screening process faster by 65%, whilst reducing cost and improving accessibility. Laura shared details of Arkangel AI’s roots and how undetected disease can lead to adverse effects. One of the objectives of the firm is to investigate diseases that could be distinguished proactively with the right amount of data, thereby speeding the diagnosis.

Arkangel AI is now used by Healthcare Professionals, Government Agencies, Private Institutions and Pharmaceutical Companies to create “Disease Detectors”, a platform to detect multiple health conditions. Additionally, the pandemic presented Arkangel AI with an opportunity to closely work with the Government of Colombia to develop free and open-source tools for providing healthcare resources and support to remote, rural areas with very limited access to hospitals and physicians. Currently, Arkangel AI has also collaborated with the research divisions of firms like Google, Novartis, and academic institutions including McGill University in Canada.

The session ended with Laura providing several insights on how Women in STEM should jump in and venture into different avenues with confidence. She highlighted the importance of having the right resources and mentors throughout one’s career. This was followed by a very interesting Q&A during which she shared her thoughts on topics including book recommendations, the latest tools in Data Science, and her mentorship journey so far.

Women in Big Data Costa Rica would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to Laura Velazquez and wish her success in all of her future endeavors.

About Laura Velasquez
President and Co-founder at Arkangel AI. A technology company that uses artificial intelligence to end the crisis of highly preventable diseases through early disease detection. She has international working experience working for large high-growth startups like Rappi and Netflix in NYC, Bogota, Santiago de Chile, Madrid, and Montreal. That allowed her to experience growth, leadership, and business intelligence to create digital transformation and impact globally. She has been the only woman and Latina in the history of the Global Everis Awards to win that award. Laura is a “Dream Maker” and believes in innovation as the primary source of change. This is what applies to her personal experience as well.

About Arkangel Ai:
-500K USD Total Funding Amount Equity free
-Powered by Google for Start-Ups Canada
-1st place at the international Everis Awards 2020
-Selected by Novartis as a key partner in the fight against Malaria worldwide
-Sponsored by McGill University, Nvidia, MaRS, and Concordia University

About the blog author Adriana Mata:
Adriana Mata has more than five years of experience in Shared Service Centers in Master Data, Finance and Taxes. She has developed her career migrating and stabilizing processes in different projects for North America and LATAM. Passionate student with a major in communication, defender of freedom of expression and gender equality.

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