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Meet the Team: Dr. Matthys Potgieter, our CTO

Updated: May 26, 2023

"With AI, there’s a lot of good news out there: basic data science will become less technical as the algorithms are hidden behind easy-to-use interfaces. Also, open source tools will ensure the field remains competitive."

As founder and CTO of EPCON, Matthys, or Thys as he likes to be called, works on the core AI algorithms and leads the team working on the company’s predictive models. Thys has been part of this growing healthtech company since its founding in 2018. He’s also involved in product design and is responsible for the technical management of the company. To achieve his goals requires daily collaboration with his versatile team to identify best practices for reaching their technological targets.

EPCON's AI model
Matthys Potgieter, man in the grey suit.

Thys’ professional background combines two pivotal careers: medicine and bioinformatics. His medical background as a doctor complements his experience in applying machine learning and information technology to biological and medical domains. Thys is passionate about writing software to find solutions for real-world medical problems, particularly in the areas of causal and Bayesian modelling, plus he has a keen interest in web design and graphical user interfaces related to AI.

But his work is not without its challenges. One of which is coordinating a team while managing technical tasks - which can sometimes mean he’s not coding as much as he’d like to. The solution is to delegate as effectively as possible, and to practise good time management and communication skills.

An additional challenge in the field is in making sure that the models are transparent and trustworthy. In the health sector, specifically in developing countries, it’s also vital to ensure that data input is of a high quality.

In the next two to five years, Thy sees AI predictive models of infectious diseases becoming more accurate and easier to explain. The interoperability between data sources will continue to improve, and data science will become less technical as the algorithms are hidden behind easy-to-use interfaces. Also, open-source tools will ensure that the field remains competitive.

EPCON already achieves outstanding interoperability across health information systems. This permits a variety of benefits, including better monitoring of a patient’s health journey, eliminating double entry points and using data more efficiently to access health trends and disease hotspots.

Clearly, using AI for predicting infectious disease hotspots offers many exciting possibilities. With EPCON, Thys is thrilled to be at the forefront of this trend!


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