Viz.ai’s 2019 has been marked with strong adoption of its artificial intelligence software and securing a distribution agreement with one of medtech’s biggest players. The Tel Aviv, Israel and San Francisco-based company’s latest accomplishment is raising $50 million in a series B round.
The financing was led by Greenoaks with participation from Threshold Ventures, CRV along with existing investors GV and Kleiner Perkins.
“This [financing] allows us to get to the next stage,” Dr. Chris Mansi, neurosurgeon, co-founder, and CEO, told MD+DI. “Our goal is to get our technology to as many patients as possible.”
The company has developed a software that connects to hospital computed tomography (CT) scanners and alerts stroke specialists within minutes that a suspected LVO stroke has been identified, sending the radiological images directly to their smartphones where they can be viewed. Viz.ai enables a physician to provide the patient with the treatment they need as quickly as possible.
This is important because stroke is a serious and time-sensitive medical condition that requires emergency care and can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, and death.
Adoption rates have been significant for Viz.ai, which received a nod from FDA in February of 2018.
“We’ve been on the market since June of 2018,” Mansi said. “We’ve gone from a few research institutes to now over 300 hospitals. The reason that we’re getting that level of adoption is that we’re seeing a significant reduction in time, which in stroke directly translates to an improvement in outcomes.”
The technology’s promise has also led to a collaboration with Dublin-based Medtronic. Viz.ai’s software could be used to help Medtronic’s Solitaire revascularization device obtain better outcomes in treating stroke patients.
“Working together with Medtronic has been excellent because now we have a massive footprint in the U.S. and once we get our clearances globally - all the hospitals in the world,” Mansi said. “We’ll be able to get our software much more quickly than you would normally see in a startup of our size.”
Mansi said the solution could be used with pharmaceutical treatments too. He noted the key factor is saving time, which would be extremely helpful to stroke patient outcomes.
“We want to partner with anyone who has the technology or the drug to take patients that we can help get access to the treatment,” he said.