Winning citizens’ trust

EBO’s expansion isn’t just about capturing market share, but also about resolving issues that challenge healthcare systems across Europe, says EBO CEO, Gege Gatt

EBO Team at an international conference.

Malta is the smallest country in the European Union – but for centuries, it has punched well above its weight, using its strategic location between two continents as a trump card. But not only – its lack of natural resources has tempered its ambition and aspirations, with individuals and businesses outgrowing the local market and seeking fortunes abroad.

Yet in today’s interconnected world, location and aspiration are not enough.

“To take a company’s offering abroad, you need a rigorously designed product based on differentiated Intellectual Property, and an equally strong go-to-market plan,” says Gege Gatt, a digital entrepreneur and CEO of London-based company EBO, an A.I. enterprise that automates citizen engagement.

“For EBO, that’s a suite of AI-driven solutions tailored to the healthtech and fintech sectors, meticulously configured to meet EU regulatory requirements. These solutions are not just about cutting-edge technology – they also hinge on ethical AI and business performance.”

Dr Gatt further explains in detail the steps that EBO took toward internationalisation.

“EBO’s first steps involved market analysis. We focused on public sector healthcare inefficiencies wherein AI automation could create accessibility for patients who would otherwise be left behind. Given our solutions are designed to be ‘future-proof,’ most of our in-product first steps included pre-emptive compliance measures like ensuring the clinical safety of all our modules, achieving G-Cloud framework inclusion, ISO27001 and the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials Plus certifications as these are barriers to entry.”

EBO initially broke ground in the UK, aligning its offerings with NHS requirements – and from there, its expansion continued to other countries in Europe.

“Currently, EBO serves multiple countries across Europe. Our footprint is increasing, and our goal is ubiquity across all healthcare systems in the European Union. Indeed, it’s pivotal to highlight that our expansion isn’t just about capturing market share; it’s fundamentally about resolving issues that challenge healthcare systems across Europe. As AI continues to advance, it paves the way for digital inclusion, democratising access to healthcare. Those who are often marginalised due to language barriers or intricate systems can easily navigate through their healthcare journey with our AI solutions. This, in turn, narrows the chasm of health inequities across various demographics.

EBO CEO – Gege Gatt

“Moreover, EBO’s platform efficacy in automating workflows significantly reduces system inefficiencies, optimising public healthcare expenditure in the process. This has a domino effect: reduced unnecessary hospital visits mean a smaller carbon footprint, aligning with both the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the European Union’s agenda for universal healthcare. Therefore, our operations ultimately aim at contributing to larger socio-economic goals.”

For a company to expand its offerings beyond Malta’s shores, careful planning and strategizing are critical – as a large market does not allow for false steps.

“In the healthcare sector, apart from the technical aspects, such as achieving certifications and ensuring data sovereignty, EBO also undertook exhaustive clinical risk management processes. Each use-case underwent clinical safety testing, exceeding even NHS Digital Data Security and Protection Toolkit requirements,” says Dr Gatt.

“In the fintech sector most preparations are related to regulatory compliance. At EBO, we don’t just see regulation as a hoop to jump through; we see it as an opportunity to build products that both meet regulatory needs and win the trust of citizens. To that end, our meticulous preparation for our healthtech solution was guided by the key tenets of the EU AI Act, which recently received broad support from the European Parliament’s committees.

“We’ve invested heavily in robust risk management frameworks that are in line with the Act’s guidelines, ensuring that we meet not just present but future demands as well. Our focus extends to cybersecurity, where we employ the most stringent measures to safeguard data and transactions. Information governance is another cornerstone; we abide by best practices to manage data effectively and responsibly. Transparency is essential to building trust, so our technology is built to be explainable and interpretable.”

But a local company that is thinking of expanding abroad is not alone – TradeMalta was specifically set up to help Malta-based businesses go international.

“TradeMalta plays an indispensable role by providing crucial market expansion assistance facilitating high-stakes networking and product representation,” says Dr Gatt, who apart from being EBO’s CEO, is also a TEDx speaker, and IT-Law specialist, and a WHO reviewer on healthcare information strategy.

“For us, TradeMalta has been instrumental in aiding our journey towards internationalisation as it provides an indispensable suite of services tailored for businesses taking their initial steps into new markets. Specifically, TradeMalta has been beneficial for us through part-financing of our participation in international trade events and exhibitions. These platforms have enabled us to establish critical trade partnerships, identify new opportunities, and stay abreast of emerging consumer trends and technologies. Under the TradeMalta scheme, we’ve been able to cover various costs, from the rental of exhibition space to marketing material for such events. TradeMalta serves as a strategic ally for Maltese businesses like ours, helping us navigate the complexities of international markets with a more comprehensive set of resources.”

A Malta-based business seeking to internationalise faces various challenges.

“Maltese firms often grapple with a small internal, domestic market and different cultural nuances to those one experiences when internationalising. This limited scale often means less capital, less talent, and fewer business opportunities to prepare for a different play in larger markets,” explains Dr Gatt.

“Smaller markets also often have less developed financial ecosystems, making it challenging for start-ups to secure the funding for international expansion. In turn, this is exacerbated by a talent pool which is limited, especially when it comes to specialised skills needed to compete in global markets.

“My advice to these companies is three-fold: Understand the target market intricately, achieve relevant certifications to foster trust and don’t underestimate the value of a strong local partner.”

EBO is not sitting on the proverbial laurels – and further growth is being planned.

“We’re all about expanding on the concept of a proactive public engagement,” says Dr Gatt. “There’s a strong argument for the transformative potential of AI in public administration and societal governance. Traditionally, public sector activities have been reactive by design – you apply for a service, and then a process is triggered. However, the evolving capabilities of AI offer an opportunity to fundamentally invert this model. By leveraging AI to analyse data from various sources in real-time, public services can identify patterns, trends, and correlations that can benefit the individual and society at large. Now couple that with the concept of ‘empowerment’.

“The public sector has an opportunity to become more inclusive and participatory. By reducing the barrier to participation, AI can facilitate broader societal engagement. Whether it’s through natural language processing that allows for wider public input, or machine learning algorithms that adapt public services to citizen needs, AI opens up new avenues for citizen engagement, and this is something that we’re deeply interested in.”

Tags: AI | Fintech services | HEALTHCARE | TradeMalta |