Startup gets $7M Series A, GE partnership to apply machine learning to medical imaging

Image created by Arterys' system--Courtesy of Arterys

A lot of money and energy is being invested in improving upon and supplementing the analysis conducted by radiologists of medical images. The expectation is that computers will offer a more precise and consistent inspection than practiced human eyes that will be applied to ever more sophisticated, timely and complex medical images.

The latest deals to attest to this trend come from newly launched Arterys, which has closed a $7 million Series A financing almost in tandem with a partnership with imaging giant GE Healthcare ($GE). The San Francisco, CA-based startup is working to apply cloud computing and machine learning to enhance the analysis of medical imaging.

The company was launched publicly at the recent Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago, IL, where it was announced as part of GE Healthcare's new ViosWorks, a cardiac solution that reduces magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment to a fraction of the time of conventional cardiac scans. It's expected to offer 3-D cardiac anatomy, function and flow in one free-breathing, 10-minute scan. Prior to this system, cloud-based, real-time image processing at these resolutions hasn't been feasible, the partners said.

Arterys is contributing the first application of its system to enable the clinical visualization and accurate quantification of blood flow inside the human body that is part of GE's ViosWorks, which allows for a 7-dimensional view of the heart. The deal dates back to November; financial details weren't disclosed. ViosWorks isn't available commercially quite yet.

"With cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the world, we believe that this cloud-enabled technology will help us to provide value not only for clinicians by delivering advanced visualization and quantification of cardiovascular function, but also help simplify cardiovascular examinations and address significant patient needs in cardiovascular disease," said Ioannis Panagiotelis, CMO of Global MR at GE Healthcare, in a statement.

The Arterys System is a SaaS analytics platform based on cloud computation and machine learning. It offers very fast visualization alongside quantification that includes an automatic analysis. The technology is CE-marketed and was cleared by the FDA in March 2014. It is already in use for research at several U.S. and EU hospitals.

"Our partnership with GE Healthcare [is] in conjunction with the launch of our first cardiac care solution, the first self-learning system of its kind to visualize and quantify blood flow leveraging a standard MRI machine," said Arterys founder and CEO Fabien Beckers. "This pivotal milestone for the company is directly in line with our vision to transform medical imaging by bringing automatic quantitative data and deep learning to healthcare applications through a GPU smart cloud platform that can be applied to many areas of medical imaging including neurology and oncology."

The $7 million Series A financing was led by Emergent Medical Partners with participation from Norwich Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Ventures and Asset Management Ventures.

"This financing will allow us to expand our efforts in machine and deep learning for medical imaging, validate our innovative approach, and bring our imaging platform to new medical applications," he added.

- here is the announcement