Digital Diagnostics, an AI-enabled diagnostics company, announced on Tuesday it raised $75 million in Series B funding led by KRR with participation from the likes of biotech-focused 8VC 1, and health care-centric Optum Ventures, bringing total funding for the company to $130 million.
The funding will go toward its product lineup and investing in sales and marketing.
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In 2018, when Iowa-based Digital Diagnostics was known as IDx, its flagship product IDx-DR staked its claim as the first Food and Drug Administration de novo-approved medical device that used AI to detect diabetic retinopathy in adults. It has also developed a handful of AI-enabled products to detect melanoma, carcinomas and other skin irregularities.
Catching diabetic retinopathy early is crucial to preventing vision loss, but visiting the necessary specialist once a year can be a burden for some patients. Rather, primary care physicians or hospitals can use IDx-DR without needing to schedule a specialist check-in.
For instance, if IDx-DR indicates a patient may have diabetic retinopathy, they can schedule a visit with a specialist as necessary, rather than as a precautionary measure. In turn, the specialist only sees patients that absolutely need to be seen, decreasing scheduled visits and allowing them to see more patients or spend more time with each patient.
A new wave of diagnostic startups
Products like the IDx-DR are likely to play a big role in the future of health care as patients have a harder time accessing specialists. They often act as a first line of defense in the treatment process.
Eyenuk, a medical imaging startup, received FDA approval in 2020 to detect diabetic retinopathy. Docbot, a gastrointestinal AI startup, developed UltivisionAI, which searches for polyps in the GI tract that may turn cancerous. In 2021, the startup raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures. In March, Pearl announced it received FDA approval for its Second Opinion platform, which catches discrepancies in dental X-rays that may go unnoticed by dentists.
Diagnostics is a growing space in health care with no signs of slowing down. According to Crunchbase data, diagnostics startups peaked in 2021 with a record $5.7 billion in venture funding.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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