Viz.ai, an artificial intelligence company developing software to detect and triage urgent cases of stroke, has raised $21 million in venture capital to expand its portfolio to other conditions.
The funding round was led by VC firm Kleiner Perkins, with support from GV, formerly known as Google Ventures.
The San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Israel-based company received a de novo FDA clearance in February for its cloud computing platform, Viz LVO, which analyzes brain scans for large vessel occlusions and notifies neurovascular specialists.
In addition, Viz.ai nabbed a second FDA clearance in April for CT perfusion analysis, through the 510(k) pathway, for its automated cerebral image processing software Viz CTP. Both programs are compatible with existing CT technology.
“We were attracted not only to the technology behind Viz.ai and its impact on patient outcomes, but also its adoption model,” said Kleiner Perkins General Partner Mamoon Hamid, who joined the company’s board of directors, in a statement. “Many new health-tech solutions struggle to gain traction because they are an outside-in sale to medical teams, requiring changes to procedures and workflows. In contrast, physicians and their teams are driving adoption of the Viz.ai platform because it is not disruptive to emergency room procedures and fits naturally into existing systems.”
In its LVO submission to the FDA, Viz.ai included a study of 300 CT images, assessing the performance of the company’s algorithm against two trained neuroradiologists for the detection of large vessel blockages. If a blockage is detected, the program sends a text message alert to a specialist for an intervention, who then reviews the images at a clinical workstation.
"Strokes can cause serious and irreversible damage to patients,” the FDA’s Robert Ochs, Ph.D., acting deputy director for radiological health, said after the approval. “The software device could benefit patients by notifying a specialist earlier thereby decreasing the time to treatment. Faster treatment may lessen the extent or progression of a stroke.”