Exo, a medical expertise startup creating a conveyable ultrasound machine and accompanying AI-powered cloud platform, has raised $40 million in a spherical of funding.
Ultrasound is utilized in hospitals to picture delicate tissue, with sound waves scanning muscle tissues, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, organs, and different components of the physique. But medical imaging expertise is usually restricted by points similar to price, picture high quality, and machine portability. Exo is hoping to discover a place within the $6 billion ultrasound market by packing high-quality imaging expertise into an “affordable” handheld unit that can be utilized anyplace.
The firm expects to make the machine out there in Q1 2021 however instructed VentureBeat it isn’t but keen to disclose any visuals, because the “device design is proprietary.” Later this yr, the corporate will even launch its AI-powered cloud-based workflow software program, which can be appropriate with different point-of-care ultrasound units in the marketplace.
“Exo will use AI in a variety of techniques, ranging from imaging itself to guiding the user to capture clinically relevant data and perform procedural guidance — making it simple to do procedures in emergency medicine, critical care, or an operating room with ultrasound,” Exo CEO Sandeep Akkaraju instructed VentureBeat.
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Founded in 2015, Redwood City-based Exo emerged from stealth final August with round $48 million unfold throughout a number of funding rounds. Notable backers embrace Intel Capital, which returned for this sequence B+ spherical alongside lead buyers Fiscus Ventures, Reimagined Ventures, and Action Potential Venture Capital. With one other $40 million within the financial institution, Exo stated it’s now well-positioned to carry its knowledge and workflow apps to market and to conclude product growth for its handheld ultrasound machine.
The pandemic has put hospital assets underneath strain, however moveable imaging expertise might assist frontline employees perform assessments in a affected person’s own residence, for instance, stopping a visit to the hospital amid issues about COVID-19 transmission.
Other handheld ultrasound units in the marketplace embrace GE’s Vscan, which has been round since 2010, whereas Butterfly raised $250 million in 2018 for its smartphone-connected ultrasound machine. Akkaraju stated Exo’s providing makes use of an ultrasound expertise known as piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducer (pMUT), which affords elevated bandwidth, lowered voltage necessities, and superior picture high quality in comparison with the extra widespread capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer (cMUT).
“Exo’s proprietary version of pMUT imaging technology miniaturizes the proven image quality of traditional cart-based ultrasound so that the superior imaging technology can fit into a handheld device,” Akkaraju stated.