Exo Imaging wants to make ultrasound available everywhere – in developing countries; in rural areas in the U.S.; and wearables. The Redwood City, CA-based company came a little bit closer to achieving this goal this week, announcing it had raised $35 million in a series B round.
Exo (pronounced “Echo”) is developing a device that combines both ultrasound and artificial intelligence for enhanced imaging in patients. The company said its Exo ultrasound platform combines advances in nano-materials, novel sensor technologies, advanced signal processing and computation with the economies of scale of semiconductor manufacturing.
Sandeep Akkaraju, the firm’s CEO and co-founder, said the technology will be small enough to fit in the palm of a clinician’s hand and will come in at a very low price point.
“[Exo] wants to make imaging very cheap, to the point that it becomes available to every healthcare provider in the world,” Akkaraju, told MD+DI. “In addition to that, we want to make the [device] very simple to use.
“I think for the first time what we’ve solved is a silicon-based imaged that gives you exceptional image fidelity and really deep penetration depth into the body and 3-D imaging,” Akkaraju said. “And it still fits in the palm of your hand.”
A 510(K) for the technology could come sometime in 2020. But Akkaraju noted the U.S. isn’t going to be the sole market focus for Exo.
“If you look worldwide about [5.5 billion] people have no access to an imaging station,” he said. “That’s two-thirds of the world population according to the [World Health Organization]. And in the U.S., if you live in rural America you still have to drive [a significant distance] to get any access to imaging today.”
He added, “We look at the at this [market] as a broad play, but clearly, our backyard is going to be the U.S.”
Prior to the financings announcement, Exo had been in stealth mode. However, high-profile investors in the series B round led to the company stepping out of the shows. The company’s bid to significantly expand the team also led to it coming out of stealth mode.
The round was led by Intel Capital Other investors in Exo include: Applied Ventures, Bold Capital, Creative Ventures, Longevity Vision Fund, Magnetar Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, OSF Healthcare, Rising Tide Fund, Sony Innovation Fund, and Wanxiang Healthcare Investments. To date, Exo has raised $50 million.