Visla raises $3m to bring AI to radiology
November 13, 2018
A Californian start-up that is using artificial intelligence (AI) in a medical diagnostic platform for radiology has raised $3m in a seed funding round. Formed this year, Visla Labs will use the capital to grow its team, scale product features, attain regulatory approval, and fuel expansion and growth.
The round was led by venture firm Lux Capital with support from former Twitter CEO and COO Dick Costolo and Adam Bain, as well as healthcare experts and advisors.
Medical imaging and diagnostics can be complex and time consuming, resulting often in a high rate of inaccuracy. Driven by an aging global population, tele-radiology firms and urgent care centres are increasingly supply constrained in meeting patient demands to deliver life-critical care. Visla's AI products aim to deliver expert diagnosis at significantly lower costs and faster turnaround times.
"Visla's one click install puts power in hands of practitioners, empowering the practitioner not feeding the bureaucratic beast of status quo healthcare IT," said Zavain Dar, principal at Lux Capital, who joins Visla's board of directors. "We've seen a number of companies applying computer vision to various diagnostic modalities in healthcare over the last four years. Simply put, what the Visla team has done in only eight months is light years beyond what any other team has yet to accomplish – crack the nut of technology, productisation, and distribution in a very hairy industry."
Early previews of the technology are covering millions of lives in more than 30 clinical settings across the USA and Asia and Visla's AI engines have ingested and processed millions of live images. In one example with an existing partner, Visla enabled 50% fewer missed diseases while automating 80% of healthy diagnosis.
"Our aim is to focus on the user, using the fastest and nimblest iteration to help in an industry where there is real need and potential to make a difference," said Wei-En Tan, co-founder of Visla. "We've seen the fragmented nature of healthcare for both doctors and patients, and we're passionate about the opportunity to reimagine the process of radiology so that it is efficient and simple for doctors, and cost-effective for everyone."
Visla was founded this year by Kevin Quennesson, Wei-En Tan and Alessandro Sabatelli, all serial entrepreneurs who met while studying and working at Stanford, Apple and Twitter. Within six months, the company has experienced accelerated adoption globally. The founders were most recently involved in the tech and aerospace industries, and heads of AI and machine learning and AR and VR at Twitter.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Visla is collaborating with major hospitals, industry veterans and physicians to re-invent the imaging experience with self-improving AI at its core. With its products, Visla seeks to enhance diagnosis accuracy and unlock the next generation of augmented radiology.