US health insurers see profits soar; Missouri votes for Medicare expansion; Trump expands telehealth
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Misdiagnosis is a major problem in healthcare: not only are 12 million Americans misdiagnosed each year, nearly a third of these cases result in serious injury, or even death. This is even more serious when it comes to diseases like cancer, where almost half of patients are diagnosed too late thanks to doctors not being able to detect tumors and growths on CT scans and MRIs.
Luckily, technology is coming to the rescue, with companies deploying artificial intelligence, matching learning and deep learning to automatically detect abnormalities that might not be noticeable to the naked eye, enabling patients to start treatment faster.
"Artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning technologies, has the potential to transform healthcare by deriving new and important insights from the vast amount of data generated during the delivery of health care every day. Radiological applications of AI-based technologies are numerous and expanding. These applications aim to automate and streamline tasks to improve efficiency, accuracy, and consistency," the FDA wrote in an annoucement that it would be holding a public workshop about this very topic later this month.
Of course, venture capitalists are noticing the evolution of the space as well; in 2018, investment in companies developing AI-enabled medical image analysis solutions reached almost $580 million, more than doubling the number from 2017.
They've invested in companies that can analyze radiology images; some that provide teleradiology services, which allow images to be shared with other radiologists in various locations; some that have designed their own medical scanning devices; and some that provide their own radiologists to local groups.
Description: Founded in 2012, Radiology Partners is a physician-run private practice that provides radiology services to local groups. The groups govern their own operations, making their own decisions about their schedule, hiring and firing of local physicians, local hospital interactions, clinical policies and procedures, while also getting access Radiology Partners' management and clinical resources.
The company has roughly 1,500 radiologists providing services to more than 1,200 hospitals, clinics and imaging centers in 24 states.
Amount raised: $1.1 billion
Investors: New Enterprise Associates, Future Fund, Starr Investment Holdings
Description: Founded in 2017, Aris Radiology provides more than 300 hospitals and health systems nationwide with on-site radiologists, including teleradiology services. Aris also appoints a facility medical director and a client service executive to provide oversight, direction and liaison.
The company also provides its customers with patient billing, radiologist recruitment, and 24/7 IT support.
Amount raised: Undisclosed
Investors: Great Point Ventures
Description: Founded in 2008, USARAD Holdings is a provider of teleradiology services. The service is available in all states on a 24/7 basis, including weekends and holidays. The company is run and operated by radiologists who can select where they would like to work anywhere in the country.
Amount raised: $14 million
Investors: Omphalos Venture Partners, Venture Capital Unit of Siemens, Excelerate Health Ventures, Next45
Description: Founded in 2016, Aidoc is a company that uses deep learning algorithms to analyze medical imaging, allowing radiologists to better detect abnormalities. The company can analyze hundreds of images in a matter of minutes.
Aidoc's software prioritizes patients so that radiologists see the most urgent cases first. It also flags life-threatening and time sensitive conditions, like brain hemorrhages or pulmonary embolisms, and prioritizes those patients for immediate treatment.
Amount raised: $41.5 million
Investors: Square Peg Capital, Magma Venture Partners, TLV Partners, Emerge, Microsoft ScaleUp Tel Aviv, Shahar Tzafrir
Description: Founded in 2018, Rad AI is a startup that seeks to make the radiologist more efficient by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate the most repetitive parts of their job.
Rad AI's first product automates the impression section of a radiologist's report, in which they summarize and synthesize the conclusions of what they've seen. The technology can write in each radiologist’s preferred language, meaning that it automatically generates language that sounds like that person. The radiologist can then review the impression section, and then sign off.
Amount raised: $4 million
Investors: Gradient Ventures, UP2398, Precursor Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Array Ventures, Hike Ventures, Fifty Years
Description: Founded in 2017, Ezra uses a full body MRI, along with artificial intelligence, to detect any abnormalities or potential problems during cancer screenings.
Members pay Ezra $999 to get one screening a year. They can schedule an appointment with a RadNet imaging facility on the Ezra platform, and, when they arrive, they will be greeted by a member of the Ezra staff at the facility who will guide them through the process. The member gets their scan done and then the results will be available within their Ezra interface, and, with one tap of a button, they can schedule a call or a meeting to speak to the Ezra physician to be taken through the results.
Amount raised: $4 million
Investors: Accomplice, Founders Future, Credo Ventures, Seedcamp, Esther Dyson, Emma Robbins, Ben Barokas, Jason Goodman, Dave McClure, Morio Kurosaki
Description: Founded in 2014, Zebra assists radiologists with artificial intelligence. Its Imaging Analytics Engine receives imaging scans snd analyzes them for a number of different clinical findings.
The company uses a database of millions of imaging scans, along with machine and deep learning tools, to create software that analyzes data in real time.
Amount raised: $20 million
Investors: Intermountain Healthcare, Aurum Ventures, aMoon FUnd, Fei Fei Lee, Richard Socher, Capikris Foundation, JJDC, OurCrowd, Marc Benioff, Dolby Family Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Nvidia GPU Ventures, Deep Fork Capital
Description: Founded in 2011, Arterys provides radiologists with AI-powered medical imaging viewing and analysis of cardiac MR, lung CT and chest x-ray images, as well as head CT images through a partnership with MaxQ AI.
The company was the first to receive FDA clearance for a cloud-based product with Artificial Intelligence, currently has 5 FDA clearances, and is active in 28 countries.
Amount raised: $43.7 million
Investors: Asset Management Ventures, ORI Capital, Northwell Ventures, Emergent Medical Partners, Temasek Holdings, DNA Capital, New York Presbyterian Ventures, GE Ventures, Varian Medical Systems, MedTech Innovator, AME Cloud Ventures, StartX, Morado Ventures
Description: Founded in 2011, Butterfly Network designs a portable, handheld medical imaging device for ultrasounds called the Butterfly iQ, which is designed with both a built-in battery and wireless charging, so it can do over two hours of scanning. It also allows for organizing, searching and accessing studies on the Cloud from mobile or web.
Amount raised: $350 million
Investors: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fosun Pharma, Fidelity, Jonathan Rothberg, Aeris Capital
Description: Founded in 2014, Enlitic uses deep learning, and other forms of artificial intelligence, to develop algorithms that identify and analyze suspicious findings in medical images.
Enlitic’s first product interprets chest x-rays, separating normal from abnormal scans, and detecting and characterizing more than 40 distinct abnormalities.
Amount raised: $55 million
Investors: Thorney Investment, Regal Funds Management, Marubeni Corporation, Capitol Health, Amplify Partners, The Jagen Group, Alium Capital, Data Collective DCVC, Seven Peaks Ventures
Description: Founded in 2016, Imagen develops devices for the prevention of diagnostic errors, with an initial focus is on applying AI to medical image analysis.
The company uses deep-learning and computer vision technology to create automated diagnosis programs, which are able to provide accurate detection within radiology images.
Amount raised: $60 million
Investors: Zach Weinberg, Expanding Capital, GV, Threshold, Allen & Company
Description: Founded in 2010, RADLogics is a healthcare IT company providing a data analytics platform for medical imaging. The RADLogics Virtual Resident solution uses machine learning image analysis and big data analytics to search and analyze imaging data from CTs, MRIs, PET scans, and X-rays.
Amount raised: $2.9 million
Investors: Winnovation, Omninet Capital, Igal Ladabaum, Moshe Becker, Bob Schindler, Oded Tamir
Description: Founded in 2013, Caption Health is developing AI software that allows healthcare providers to interpret ultrasound exams. Its Caption Guidance software uses AI to provide real-time guidance to healthcare providers, along with its interpretation software.
Amount raised: $7.9 million
Investors: New York Presbyterian Ventures, Minneapolis Heart Institute Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Greenbox Ventures, Data Collective DCVC, Georges Harik, 11.2 Capital
Description: Founded in 2014, Mindshare Medical is developing AI tools that can diagnose cancer using imaging data. Its RevealAI product reveals patterns within images and across patients that are difficult for humans to detect.
Amount raised: $2 million
Investors: A-Level Capital, Tech Coast Angels, Frost Data Capital
Description: Founded in 2016, Viz.ai's has a suite of AI powered products that can detect large vessel occlusion strokes. The Viz LVO product uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to automatically identify suspected LVOs, and the Viz CTP product uses imaging technology to analyze images of the brain, producing color maps.
Amount raised: $80.6 million
Investors: Greenoaks Capital, GV, Kleiner Perkins, DHVC, Innovation Endeavors, AME Cloud Ventures, SeedcampVoxelCloud
Description: Founded in 2016, VoxelCloud uses AI and cloud computing to provide automated medical image analysis services.
The company's current products cover lung cancer, retinal diseases, and coronary heart disease.
Amount raised: $78.5 million
Investors: Shenzhen Hongtai Capital Management Group, Qingsong Fund, Seqouia Capital China, Hanfor Capital Management, Tencent Holdings
Description: Founded in 2016, Kheiron Medical uses machine learning for cancer detection. The company focuses on breast cancer screening with its Mia product, which integrates into radiology workflows and can detect small tumors on mammograms.
Amount raised: $21.2 million
Investors: Greycroft, Exor Seeds, Hoxton Ventures, Nina Capital, Atomico, Connect Ventures, EASME, 7percent Ventures, Newgen Venture Partners, Will Neale, Samos Investments, Walking Ventures, Isomer Capital, Cambridge Angels Group, Edward Lando, Entrepreneur First Covera Health
Description: Founded in 2017, Covera Health is an analytics company that provides programs for employers, health plans, and strategic partners to help solve misdiagnosis in radiology. Its first solution is its Radiology Centers of Excellence Program, in which the company uses its data to identify the best imaging centers for health plans and self-insured employers.
The company recently partnered with Walmart to share data from the program.
Amount raised: $32 million
Investors: Prism Venture Management, Insight Partners, Sam Zell, Equity Group Investments
Description: Founded in 2009, HeartFlow is a medical technology company that diagnoses cardiovascular disease. The HeartFlow Analysis is a test that can assess coronary artery disease and the HeartFlow Planner product allows clinicians to explore multiple clinical scenarios in real time using virtual modeling prior to treatment. It allows them to review and modify treatment plans with their colleagues.
Amount raised: $476.6 million
Investors: Wellington Management, Rancilio Cube, Martis Capital, Baillie Gifford, Panorama Point Partners, Lifeforce Capital, Capricorn Investment Group
Description: Founded in 2016, Promaxo is a medical technology company commercializing office-based MRI system and compatible robotic systems.
Promaxo's MRI is much smaller and doesn't require the patient to go inside the machine; the patient is completely outside the scanner, which means that for example, a patient can scan their knee or their ankle without needing to get inside a big machine. The company is initially focusing on urology, specifically as it relates to prostate screening.
The company has 61 patents on its technology and is working with research partners at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin Department of Radiology, Mass General, Vanderbilt, Harvard and others.
Amount raised: $13.7 million
Investors: RocSon Medtech Fund, Almond Tree Capital Fund, MicroPort Scientific
(Image source: dynamicmedicalimaging.com)
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Joined Vator on
Rad AI applies neural networks to radiology in order to save lives and reduce the cost of healthcare.
Our first product integrates seamlessly with existing workflow to significantly increase radiologist efficiency, while reducing radiologist burnout and improving clinical accuracy.
Joined Vator on
Promaxo is a medical technology company commercializing office-based MRI system and compatible robotic systems. By bringing MRI to office, Promaxo aims to improve access to MRI, a proven technology for diagnosis and treatment planning for several medical conditions, for more patients in an outpatient setting. Additionally, by bringing MRI to outpatient settings, the economic burden on healthcare system reduces dramatically while obviating needs for unnecessary and ineffective screening methods and as many as 50% biopsies. The patients experience high quality of care on a device that is convenient and comfortable while physicians have access to technology at a fraction of the upfront cost and virtually no facility upgrades or maintenance.
Promaxo's technology backed by more than 60 filed and issued patents, is packed into the first single-sided MRI system and MR compatible robot. The system does not require any facility upgrades such as floor reinforcements, shielding, and high electrical power requirements in addition to not requiring hazardous materials like conventional MRIs. The system is small and light enough to be transported to different floor levels in commercial elevators and through the office doors to be easily setup inside an office. The product is currently being evaluated by FDA for 510k clearance.
Promaxo is initially focused on prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment where MRI is considered the best modality for screening, staging and planning. However, its use is limited due to limited access to MRIs for urologists, who typically work in private practices.
The technology is built on the back of more than $8M in grant funding and nearly $7M in dilutive (Seed and Series A) funding. The company is currently closing its $8M bridge to series B at the lower of valuation cap of $32M or 20% discount to Series B and 8% discount rate.