By Monika Ghosh and Sharon Lewis This article is the last of a four-part Tech’s Year in Review series reviewing developments across industries in 2020. It discusses the world of healthtech and biotech, foodtech and agritech, and sustainability. This article is the last of a four-part [...]
See-Mode Technologies is pioneering the use of AI/ML in the detection of strokes, vulnerable plaque, and high-risk blood flow
Singapore and Australia-based medtech startup See-Mode Technologies has raised US$7 million in its Series A round of financing, according to a statement released today.
The round was led by MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia (MMV SEA), the growth stage investing arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, the statement noted.
Existing investors including Australian venture firm Blackbird Ventures, Singapore-based early stage investor Cocoon Capital, London-headquartered ‘talent investor’ Entrepreneur First, and Singaporean deep tech investor SGInnovate, in addition to angel investors also participated in the round, the statement added.
The funding will be utilized towards See-Mode Technologies’ commercial expansion into Europe and the U.S. market next year, in addition to beefing up its operational, R&D, and engineering capabilities, increasing hiring efforts to double its team across product roles, and bolstering its core sales and business development team, the statement noted.
Further, See-Mode Technologies is also expanding its partnerships with global research institutions for R&D purposes. Some of its present research partners include National University Hospital and Changi General Hospital in Singapore, as well as Austin Health and Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia.
The statement noted that these partnerships, which help validate the company’s algorithms and models, enable See-Mode Technologies to build clinical evidence to be presented for regulatory approval of its upcoming products.
See-Mode Technologies provides artificial intelligence (AI)-based medical software to help clinicians improve the prediction of the risk of stroke and vascular diseases, the statement said. The software uses AI and computational models on medical images collected routinely via ultrasound, CT or MRI scans, enabling clinicians to obtain critical stroke risk factors.
“The ability to predict the likelihood of stroke hands the initiative back to doctors, who can introduce pre-emptive countermeasures to prevent stroke occurrence,” CEO of SGInnovate Dr Lim Jui said in the statement.
“See-Mode’s ability to secure funding in such a challenging climate is recognition of the value and impact of its suite of products, which not only lead to better care, but also reduce the societal burden of stroke,” he added.
The company’s flagship product is a medical AI software that automates the analysis and reporting of vascular ultrasound scans, called Augmented Vascular Analysis (AVA), the statement noted.
Using deep learning, text recognition, and signal processing, AVA helps clinicians to interpret vascular ultrasound scans, reducing the time to generate a report from 20 minutes to less than one minute.
“Since closing our seed round in 2018, we have been working hard on building additional capabilities for AVA and building a suite of upcoming products,” Co-founder and Director, See-Mode Technologies, Dr Milad Mohammadzadeh said in the statement.
“Tackling stroke is no small feat, and we are extremely lucky to be working with an outstanding group of clinicians from leading research institutions globally to further validate our products,” he added.
AVA is commercially available in Singapore with a Class B medical device approval from the Singapore Health Science Authority, the statement said. It added that AVA is currently undergoing trials in Singapore and Australia, and is waiting on regulatory approval in other regions, such as with Europe’s CE mark and from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The statement noted that while the medtech company is continuously upgrading AVA to cover new clinical use cases, it is also working on two new products, one that uses machine learning (ML) to help spot vulnerable plaque, and second that is based on computational modelling to detect high-risk blood flow.
See-Mode Technologies has completed proof-of-concepts for both its upcoming products with partners in Singapore and Australia, the statement said. It added that the company has now moved towards multi-center clinical studies in collaboration with partners in Europe and the U.S.
Healthcare tools using AI/ML are growing in popularity across the world. While $4 billion was invested in this sector in 2019, interest in AI/ML medtech tools has only grown since the COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaping holes in the ability of global healthcare systems to contend with a crisis of this kind.
Medical imaging is one of the most advanced areas in the current AI/ML-based medtech landscape, and moreover, reports suggest that streamlining AI into mainstream healthcare may only be five to seven years away.
Header image by Freepik