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Radiology A.I. Company Raises $4M in Seed Funds

Inspecting lung X-rays

(National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH)

25 Nov. 2019. A start-up company developing systems with artificial intelligence to aid the work of radiologists is raising $4 million in its seed funding round. The early funding round for Rad AI in Berkeley, California was led by Gradient Ventures, Google/Alphabet’s venture finance group that specializes in companies building A.I. systems.

Rad IA’s founders, radiologist Jeff Chang and serial entrepreneur Doktor Gurson, started the company to help radiologists meet greater demands for their professional services, while shortages of radiologists persist in many markets. Chang, a practicing radiologist, studied artificial intelligence in graduate school, and with Gurson started Rad AI last year.

“Radiology is facing severe pressures that range from falling reimbursements to market consolidation,” says Chang in a Rad AI statement released through PR Newswire. “There is also a radiologist shortage that is exacerbated by rising imaging volumes nationwide.  We help radiology groups significantly increase productivity, while reducing radiologist burnout and improving report accuracy.”

The company’s technology uses voice recognition and machine learning algorithms to generate an automated impression section of a radiologist’s report. The impression section sums up findings from the radiologist’s image analysis, combined with the patient’s medical history and condition, to provide a diagnosis, as well as recommendations for further tests.

Rad AI’s impression report, says the company, takes findings provided by the radiologist’s dictation, and generates the impression section in language reflecting the radiologist’s usage and syntax. The automated report begins by answering questions from the ordering physician, then follows with the radiologist’s findings. The radiologist can then review and change the report as needed.

Rad AI says most of its system processing takes place in the cloud, requiring little technical set-up by the users. The company also says its system meets Federal HIPAA requirements in the U.S. for data protection, and its algorithms are based on de-identified data. Rad AI cites data showing its system reduces report preparation time for computed tomography or CT scans by 20 percent, and X-rays and similar images by 15 percent, saving up to 60 minutes a day per radiologist.

The seed funding round raising $4 million for Rad AI was led Gradient Ventures, a division of Google/Alphabet that specializes in companies developing A.I.-based applications. Gradient says it invests mainly in early-stage enterprises, and provides both technical expertise and business networking with fellow entrepreneurs. Joining Gradient Ventures in the round are venture companies Investors UP2398, Precursor Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Array Ventures, Hike Ventures, Fifty Years VC, and various angel investors.

Rad AI says it plans to use the proceeds of the round to hire more engineers and expand marketing of its impression report product.

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