Stroke-Detecting AI Company Gets Nearly $10M in New Venture Round

Brainomix's platform analyzes CT scans to diagnose stroke. The FDA just set a regulatory precedent for similar technology.

Brainomix, a UK-based imaging company that wants to use artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose and treat strokes, announced today that it had received £7m—nearly $10 million—in new funding.

The company thinks that stroke outcomes could be improved if CT scans were read rapidly and accurately. Its flagship offering is a software platform called e-ASPECTS, which automates application of the industry-standard Alberta Stroke Program Early CT score.

Parkwalk Investors led the round. They were joined by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, the investment arm of international pharmaceutical maker Boehringer Ingelheim. In welcoming them to the fold, Brainomix CEO Michalis Papadakis said that “their tremendous expertise and heritage in stroke will complement the knowledge of our existing investors.”

According to a statement, the cash injection will allow Brainomix to further commercialize e-ASPECTS. Papadakis added that the money will assist in the product’s global growth. It has European approval as a CE-marked, class IIa medical device and is currently in use in more than a dozen countries worldwide.

Studies have shown that e-ASPECTS is non-inferior to image appraisal by neuroradiologists, although the company argues that it can often diagnose stroke more quickly than human clinicians, decreasing time to treatment and improving outcomes.

It is currently awaiting FDA approval before it can be marketed in the United States. The American regulator set a precedent when it approved another AI-based CT scan analysis program, Viz.AI’s Contact software, in mid-February. “Subsequent computer-aided triage software devices with the same medical imaging intended use may go through the FDA’s premarket notification (510 (k)) process,” the agency said in a statement.

Like many up-and-coming AI companies, Brainomix was spun out of a leading university. The company began at Oxford University before gaining independence in 2010. It previously raised £1.2 million and £1.5 million, respectively, in Series A and B rounds—about $3.8 million total.

Radiology is often seen as a field ripe for AI disruption. While some experts believe that the technology could replace radiologists in the next decade, many of the clinicians are less fearful.

“Radiologists are all going to become junior data scientists,” the Radiological Society of North America’s Adam E. Flanders, MD, told Healthcare Analytics News™. “We’re going to be the ones that are going to help train these algorithms, and we’re going to be central to helping to validate whether they’re working efficiently, effectively, and accurately.”

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