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Artificial intelligence (AI) health care startup Viz.ai has raised $21 million in a round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins, with participation from Alphabet’s venture capital arm GV. Founded out of San Francisco in 2016, Viz.ai is setting out to leverage AI to detect early signs of time-sensitive medical conditions. The company’s first product is a software platform that analyzes brain scans for large vessel occlusions (LVOs), or strokes, and which received FDA clearance in February.
The potential benefits are great. As Tom Devlin, a stroke neurologist at Erlanger, observes, “We know we lose 2m brain cells every minute the clot is there.” Yet the two therapies that can transform outcomes—clot-busting drugs and an operation called a thrombectomy—are rarely used because, by the time a stroke is diagnosed and a surgical team assembled, too much of a patient’s brain has died. Viz.ai’s technology should improve outcomes by identifying urgent cases, alerting on-call specialists and sending them the scans directly.
The technology from Viz.ai (the ai is for artificial intelligence) recently gained Food and Drug Administration approval. The company and Erlanger are talking to other Chattanooga hospitals about installing its diagnostic software there, which would allow neurologists to see brain scans almost simultaneously.
A Viz.ai study of 300 patients, which prompted the FDA approval, showed that the company’s software was able to notify a stroke neurologist on average 7.3 minutes after the brain imaging took place—compared with the hours that it sometimes takes with conventional diagnostic procedures. The technology accurately identified severe strokes as precisely as expert stroke radiologists do, the study found.
The system holds promise for improved outcomes, medical experts say, but only if it can be widely adopted by hospitals. One concern is cost. Companies developing the technology haven’t set a price but say it won’t be cost-prohibitive.
הם פועלים בתחומי הסייבר, האינטרנט של הדברים והמסחר האלקטרוני, וגם בבריאות ובחקלאות - וכולם רוצים לשנות את העולם עם רעיון חדשני והרבה התלהבות. מגזין אלה הסטארטאפים הישראליים שייעצבו את העתיד. לאיזה מהם הפוטנציאל הגדול ביותר? סמנו את הבחירה שלכם
According to the CDC, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US, killing about 140,000 people each year. More than 795,000 people in the US have a stroke each year, adding up to an estimated $34 billion in health care services, medicines to treat stroke and missed days of work. Detecting signs of a potential stroke early can be critically important to preventing long term disability or death. Patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms often have less disability than those who received delayed care.
The FDA announced yesterday that it will permit marketing of Viz.ai’s Contact, a clinical decision support (CDS) tool that analyzes CT results and highlights cases that may have experienced a stroke.
Viz.AI Contact software that provides artificial intelligence-assisted stroke detection for CT scans and automatically notifies neurovascular specialists by text message got U.S. marketing approval from the FDA, the agency announced.