Subscribe

News EO
News · 2
report
News EO
Jun 15, 2020 09:57 am ·

Medical AI Tech Shukun Closes Series B1 Funding Round of CNY 200 Million

Chinese medical AI startup Shukun announced that it had closed Series B funding at a deal value of CNY 200 million. This investment was co-led by BOC International and CCB International’s Jianxing Fund, participation came from sequential investors China Creation Ventures (CCV) and Huaigai Capital (HG Capital). Shukun plans to utilize this capital injection to accelerate landing AI technologies in all-tier clinics and community care centers while continuously advancing in the heart disease, neural systems and oncology areas. As a medical solution provider, Shukun provides hospitals with a smart end-to-end workflow, called ‘Scan-to-Report’ – an efficient procedure that allows booking, examination and receipt of reports within the same day. So far, this AI startup has built three comprehensive platforms covering three major human organ areas: heart, brain and chest. Even further, Shukun also launched a community-based medical imaging cloud platform, which significantly benefits citizens by making it more convenient for them to do the physical examination and follow-up checks. Within the three years since its inception, this high-tech medical company has accumulated nearly 100 patents and has been recognized as an ‘Innovative Medical Device’ by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration. Now it eyes an accelerated expansion into more triple-A hospitals nationwide, as it simultaneously seeks commercialization in joint efforts with giants in the field of medical devices, such as GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare. From a long-term perspective, the in-depth integration of AI technology and medical application is just a start. In the Governmental Two Sessions, not long ago, one representative from a radiology department introduced that it takes from at least 30 minutes to one hour to do the traditional check and diagnosis, including the stages: ‘scan – post-treatment – diagnosis  – initial reporting – report review.’  For patients, they should usually wait for one to three days to receive the reports. This is the area where AI technology should enter. “The lack of medical resources has always been one of the rooted reasons of China’s medical issues,” says Mr. Zhou Wei, the managing partner of China Creation Venture, “the most efficient way is to utilize AI such advanced technologies to assist doctors in solving the imbalance between demand and supply.” Amid the COVID-19 crisis, this startup has extended its service coverage to over 200 hospitals nationwide. It is not the only AI-based medical tech that has embraced a boosting strategy at this particular time. Invervision, the lung cancer detector, launched a deep-learning system in the epicenter of Wuhan to help frontline doctors fight against the deadly virus. In the coming second wave of the epidemic, high-tech tools are a must to shape a possible solution for all mankind.

News EO
News · 2
report
News EO
Feb 3, 2020 09:29 am ·

Infervision: Our AI Detects Deadly Coronavirus via CT Lung Screening

Infervision (推想科技) described its coronavirus detection model as working through CT lung screening. This means that the new model detects ground-glass opacities (GGO) in the lung that may later be confirmed as one of the complications of the virus. The firm's model has already been used by Wuhan Tongji Hospital, one of the frontline hospitals that has been fighting with the epidemic in Wuhan. It is set to be deployed in multiple other hospitals in the near future, Infervision said.  “It serves as a surrogate to PCR diagnostic as the lab capacities aren't enough to keep up with the rising number of suspected cases in the afflicted regions," added the company. Another diagnostics solution support for the rising crisis was launched by Shenzhen-based genomics giant BGI Genomics (300676: SH) on January 28. The company's stocks opened around 10% up as the mainland's stock markets open on January 3, 2020. “The new coronavirus may cause infections with no symptoms and sicken otherwise healthy people,” postulated the Lancet, showing how hard it is presently for hospitals in Wuhan, which are racing against time to diagnose large numbers of patients. The new diagnostic solutions possess tremendous importance for the afflicted region, considering the symptoms of the new virus are similar to other fast-spreading diseases like flu, complicating the process and creating excess demand thanks to a large number of concerned patients who need to be assessed. "Symptomatic patients are piling up in the hospital – AI can help triage the patients quickly," said the firm. "Patients have been seen without any noticeable symptoms like fever or cough, but showing large GGOs in the lung," The Beijing-based private firm had long been drawing the attention of wealthy venture capitalists, including Qiming Venture Partners and Sequoia China; it has secured around USD 100 million since its inception in January 2016. The team has been adopting deep learning technology broadly in the medical imaging field. The firm was involved in an early victory in this complex battle: for the first time since the emergence of the new virus in late 2019, the number of new suspected coronavirus cases in China started to drop, over two consecutive days, on December 31 and January 1, 2020 - mostly driven by faster diagnostic solutions. PCR diagnostics had shown that it could play a crucial role. 

News
News · 1
News EO
News · 2
report
News EO
Jun 17, 2019 11:20 pm ·

Tencent Miying Debuts New AI Medical Image Reading Tech

On June 16th, Tencent Miying (腾讯觅影), the medical image reading platform of Tencent, and Wang Ningli (王宁利) research team from Tongren Hospital (同仁医院) debuted their latest technology in early-stage glaucoma screening on the 13th conference held by China Medical Doctor Association and eye doctor chapter in Zhengzhou. Dr. Wang Ningli asserted that early-stage glaucoma screening is the best approach to prevent vision loss caused by glaucoma. The new technology employs AI tech to screen and detect early-stage glaucoma and the accuracy is claimed to exceed 95%. Diagnosis glaucoma at an early stage can help doctors to intervene in the progress of vision loss. The AI screening technology could shed some lights to China’s eye disease diagnosis, prevention, and so the treatment. The tension caused by the shortage of China’s medical resources and unbalanced allocation can be soothed by the new AI medical image reading technology. The top three vision loss reasons are cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. However, at the current stage, eye-disease-related AI medical image reading technology mainly focuses on diabetic retina exam and glaucoma screening. Compared with curable cataracts, which can be cured by cataract surgery, glaucoma-caused vision impairment is inevitable. Hence, early-stage diagnosis of glaucoma and prevention are critical for potential glaucoma patients. Yet the glaucoma AI screening technology has not been widely applied, the diabetic retina exam has been installed in some clinics and hospitals for trials and assisting doctors in diagnosis. As the same as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy impairs vision, which is also an inevitable process. Vision impairment caused by the two is a chronical process and it is often too late to be treated when patients discover that they have lost vision. The AI medical image reading aims at the efficiency and accuracy of medical image reading, and ultimately improves the accessibility of healthcare services from region to region in China. For medical image reading AI companies, most matured image-reading technology at the stage is pulmonary diseases, then liver and eye diseases. 12Sigma, Infervision, Airdoc, Deepwise, etc. all have image reading solutions in above-mentioned fields. Tencent Miying is a function of Tencent’s AI development department. Tencent is officially appointed as one of the National Open Innovation Platform for Next Generation Artificial Intelligence on computer vision for medical AI by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. China has four more open innovation platforms designated for different fields: Baidu focused on autonomous driving; iFlyTek is assigned to voice intelligence field; Alibaba is tasked with “city brains”; SenseTime is the open innovation platform for computer vision

News EO
News · 2
report
News EO
Jun 4, 2019 12:56 pm ·

There is a Promise of Hope from China for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis

Infervision (推想科技), a Chinese MedTech company, revealed intriguing insights on its tuberculosis diagnostic support product at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. The company implied that they are going to launch their product overseas, particularly in tuberculosis-imposed (TB) regions. Infervision provides several solutions including, among others, lung cancer and stroke medical-imaging diagnostics supports for the use of doctors. Amongst its competitors in the same area, Deepwise (深睿医疗), VoxelCloud (体素科技) and Huiyihuiying (汇医慧影), Infervision distinctively focused on lung cancer diagnosis and strives to be a global company. (Find more on Infervision's global expansion in this in-depth coverage)  The company's tuberculosis initiative is a strategic one and may be fruitful in the long term. First, MI diagnosis process is based on the cumulative saturation of the big data, which yields better learning of the machine and results in a more precise AI for the product. Thus, Infervision's expertise in lung cancer imaging and diagnosis presumably facilitates the company's overall operational effectiveness and fruitfulness of the tuberculosis product. Infervision will likely to enjoy the early mover's advantage.  Secondly, tuberculosis is a third-world countries' problem, but a Chinese company could find an advantage to collect data from China and apply its intelligence overseas. In 2018, there were 1,110,659 tuberculosis cases in China, with around 94% success rate of treatment. Indeed, the clinical experience from China can be well implemented in the regions where tuberculosis severely hit. Infervision's team is well-equipped and designed to operate in overseas as a global company.  However, application of such a technology in Africa and SEA is only a sweat dream if contemporary infrastructure capacity of these regions considered. The prerequisite of applying an MI diagnostic software is having a necessary healthcare infrastructure, such as MI and Xray devices. Hence, Infervision's tuberculosis initiative is only a long-term one to be implemented in developing regions. Nevertheless, the company has further approached to provide a complete circle of AI-driven healthcare services and might eventually enjoy being an early mover in the industry. Tuberculosis product shows that Infervision is trying to catch up with Yitu Tech (依图科技) and 12 Sigma (图玛深维) in terms of product diversity, as well.  On December 7, 2018, Infervision completed its Series C, led by CDH Investments(鼎晖投资) and followed by Sequoia China, Haitong Leading Capital Management, Taihe Capital(泰和资本), Advan Tech Capital, Xiang He Capital(襄禾资本) and Genesis Capital. Infervision claimed that its services have been used in around 200 hospitals worldwide and provide daily assistance with approximately 20,000 scans for lung cancer screening: which constitutes the most critical investment indicators for an AI-driven diagnosis assistance provider companies.

News EO
News · 2
News EO
Apr 21, 2019 11:00 pm ·

Infervision’s Stroke Diagnosis Decision Support Product Shines

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced by some reasons. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die, and within hours some parts of the brain may be disabled; thus some significant parts of the body may be disabled permanently or temporarily. In a matter of days, the survival rate is as low as 50%.  Worldwide, stroke leads to the death of around 6 million people every year, and it is attributed to the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability. As the overall economic development level decreases, it kills more people. China is the country where one can see the most stroke originated death; it killed more than 2 million people in China in 2016. By comparison, stroke killed more than 140,000 Americans last year. Computed tomography (CT) is the ultimate method to diagnose the stroke. It can save the precious hours in diagnosing the stroke and progressing the right treatment to it. In stroke treatment and alleviation, every minute is vital. However, only around 61% of the emergency medical service (EMS) providers accurately detects stroke timely. The fail rate is attributed to the general education level of the doctors and technical deficiencies.  Infervision’s (图像科技) “InferRead CT Stroke” software locates the bleeding area on a medical image, measures the bleeding volume thus assisting the doctor for faster and more accurate diagnosis of stroke. Globally, Infervision is not the only company who provides such software. For instance, a product called NuroView detects stroke with as high as 89% accuracy in the USA. However, Infervision is the most significant company in China in dealing with the issue. As of now, Infervision has around 300 cooperative hospitals using its products and software dealing with the Stroke diagnosis.   On December 7, 2018, Infervision closed its series C1 funding led by CDH Investments (鼎晖投资) and followed by Sequoia China, Haitong Leading Capital Management, Taihe Capital(泰和资本), Advan Tech Capital, Xiang He Capital(襄禾资本) and Genesis Capital. CHEN Kuan (陈宽), founder and the CEO of Infervision, dropped out of his PhD program after he realized the opportunity of integrating AI to the healthcare industry in 2015. His company has attracted around CNY 500 million fundings so far from the prestigious investors, such as Sequoia. With a strong market capacity and proper products, together with a well-working managing team, Infervision confidently looks ahead; to the days when China has more than a hundred million people over 80 years old. Then, we all will witness Chen’s grand vision.

News EO
News · 2
News EO
Dec 12, 2018 11:50 am ·

Infervision Completes its 2018's Second Funding Round in 2018

On December 7, 2018, Infervision(推想科技) closed its series C1 funding and the actual amount has not been released yet. This funding round is led by CDH Investments(鼎晖投资) and followed by Sequoia China, Haitong Leading Capital Management, Taihe Capital(泰和资本), Advan Tech Capital, Xiang He Capital(襄禾资本) and Genesis Capital. The raised fund would be used to finance R&D and marketing. In 2017, there are 280 investments in digital healthcare industry, while in 2018, the number has dropped to 148 by far but total funding amount surpasses the number of 2017. Along with the favored "Healthy China 2030" policy published by the State Council in October 2016, investments in healthcare has been heated up and healthcare startups sprang in clusters, whether in pharmaceuticals or in big-data-backed healthcare tech companies. Though investors are more prudent and less risky in general, AI solution and healthcare industries are still chased by capital. In a capital winter for China startups, new funding round secured by Infervision reveals that the company is favored by the capital market for undisputable advantages. Regarding the funding, the Partner of CDH Investment YING Wei(应伟) claimed, “AI product should not march in place at a conceptual level, but needs to prove its capability and applicability. In past three years, Infervision dedicated in both R&D and landing AI tech. Embedded in clinical scenarios, Infervision concentrates in connecting tech and real cases.” Startups never lack dreamers, but only doers last. At this point, Infervision is a model in the industry and in the leading rank of applying AI tech into real practice. Dated June 2018, over 150 hospitals in national wide have installed Infervision’s star product series InferRead. InferRead could provide averagely 13,000 cases of CT image readings in assisting diagnostic process per day per hospital. Companies with only conceptual ideas and no progress in landing dreams are truly experiencing a capital winter. Technology’s ultimate pursue is servicing human and promote productivity. In 2018, Infervision completed two rounds of funding-- series B closed in February and series C1 completed in this month. Except for Infervision, quite a number of high tech healthcare unicorn companies like 12 Sigma(图玛深维), United Imaging Healthcare(联影医疗),4Paradigm(第四范式),etc. have announced or completed funding series in 2018. Active investments in AI solution may convey a signal to the industry – AI companies should recognize their concept products in reality to survive the winter.  --Author: FU YingWei; write to YingWei at YingWei@EqualOcean.com

News EO
News · 2
News EO
Nov 23, 2018 09:50 pm ·

Chinese AI Startup Infervision is Expanding Overseas

Infervision (推想科技), a Beijing-based AI startup using deep learning to improve medical image analysis and help diagnose cancers, recently appointed former GE Healthcare scientist SHEN Yun (沈云) as the president of iCR-inferVISION Global Clinical Collaboration Research Institute. Since China elevated AI as a strategic development plan since 2017, more and more oversea-background scientists returned to China to join the emerging AI gold rush.  CHEN Kuan (陈宽), founder and CEO of Infervision, who himself was a P.H.D. candidate of the University of Chicago, dropped out of his doctoral program after he found the huge opportunities of integrating AI with healthcare industry in 2015. CHEN was right, since been founded in early 2016, his company Infervision has attracted four rounds of funding from various investors, including Sequoia Capital China, Qiming Venture Partners and so on.  Infervision has five products InferRead CT Lung, InferRead DR Chest, InferRead CT Stroke, InferRead CT Bone, and InferScholar Center. All solutions aim to help radiologists to reduce repetitive work and improve the accuracy of diagnosis. Infervision claimed two months ago that the company’s AI imaging technology has been accepted in 200 hospitals worldwide and assists with an estimated 20000 scans for lung cancer screening every day, which made Infervision the largest AI platform in the world (in terms of scan volume) for registered active medical professionals.  Infervision has been actively expanding into international markets in the past year, its Japan and America offices were founded in September 2017, and in March 2018 infervision Europe was launched. “In China, hospitals would like to try new technologies but have little willingness to pay; it’s relatively easier for Infervision to make money from Japan, America, and Europe”, someone familiar with the matter told EqualOcean. 12 SIGMA, a major competitor of Infervision, also takes the same development path. Now Infervision and 12 SIGMA, two Chinese AI medical imaging companies, are racing to rival the same international markets. And just like CHEN, the founder and CEO of 12 SIGMA ZHONG Xin (钟昕), a Carnegie Mellon University graduate who once worked at Qualcomm, discovered the AI tide, back to China and founded 12 SIGMA in 2015. ——Author: YuanPu; Write to YuanPu at YuanPu@EqualOcean.com