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A start-up company is using blockchain, AI and big data to transform the way consumers access skincare services – and provide dermatologists with a much-needed platform for delivering expert advice to the public.
Opu Labs’ platform will consist of five main services. The project’s goal is simple: to help millions of people with skincare concerns get the best treatment possible based on their budget.
Artificial intelligence (AI) takes a starring role through Opu AI. This software can identify wrinkles, redness, acne and hyperpigmentation by analyzing pictures of a user’s face. The technology divides this image into four distinct areas – cheek, eye, brow and middle – providing a score on the skin’s condition in each region. Users are then given the opportunity to search for products that address any dermatological issues, and even receive predictions on how much improvement they could expect from different treatments.
A demo platform of Opu AI is now available online. In time, the company plans to allow customers around the world to download its technology in apps for Android devices and iPhones – or use the software through a web browser.
Development work continues on the company’s other core services. One of them is a powerful search engine which would offer unbiased recommendations on skincare products based on any conditions they have, and the phrases and keywords they’ve searched for in the past. According to a study cited by Opu Labs, more than 30 percent of consumers spend 10 or more days researching skincare products online before making a purchasing decision. Their experience is often frustrated by adverts they don’t trust, inauthentic websites and information which is hard to verify.
Opu is not just going to be a consumer-facing platform. Another tool known as Opu Connect would allow skincare product manufacturers, as well as healthcare researchers, to access consumer data. This personal information would only be offered with the user’s consent, and in exchange, they would be rewarded using a cryptocurrency that has been specially created for its ecosystem: the OPU coin.
Eventually, the start-up says it will also be possible for dermatologists to schedule and hold appointments with patients through a secure system known as Opu CRM. Medical records would be stored within the ecosystem on blockchain, with patient data exchanged effortlessly and discreetly.
Bringing expertise to the masses
According to Opu Labs, there is great appetite among consumers for the professional opinions of dermatologists.
Barely 1 in 10 people currently obtain expert advice before they spend their hard-earned cash on skincare products, even though 8 in 10 would be interested in doing so. For consumers without access to a dermatologist, the alternative is often receiving recommendations from biased shop assistants who are determined to sell products irrespective of whether it is the best choice for them. Opu Labs wants to create an ecosystem where treatments are discovered and purchased based on their merits – and give users confidence that the information they receive can be trusted.
The company says it has developed an in-depth understanding of its target market. The typical user will be 18 to 35, highly educated, and have an average budget of about $75 a month for skincare products. Opu Labs also envisages that four in five clients will be women.
The company is now focusing on the future – and 2018 is going to be a busy year, with planned launches in Asia, the US and the European Union. Android and iOS apps are also scheduled to go live.
Before all of this, Opu Labs has its initial coin offering to think about. Its presale is taking place in June, with a bonus offered on purchases, and its public sale is in July.