AI stroke predictor start-up raises $7m in funding round


See-Mode Technologies, a medtech start-up based in Singapore and Australia that seeks to improve stroke prediction with AI-based software, has raised $7 million in a Series A round led by MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia (MMV SEA).

The funding round also saw participation from existing investors Blackbird Ventures, Cocoon Capital, Entrepreneur First, and SGInnovate, along with a group of angel investors.

The investment backs the company’s commercial expansion plans to bring its products to the Europe and United States (US) markets in the upcoming year. Additionally, See-Mode is strengthening its existing operations and aiming to at least double its team size, expanding its R&D and engineering capabilities and building up its core sales and business development team. The team is also broadening its partnerships to more research institutions around the world to build a base of scientific evidence for its R&D efforts.

Around the world, stroke remains a leading cause of death and disability. To help clinicians better predict the risk of stroke and vascular diseases, See-Mode is developing solutions to improve the analysis of routinely collected medical images such as ultrasound, CT or MRI scans. See-Mode’s software applies AI and computational models on these medical images, allowing clinicians to obtain critical stroke risk factors that may not be accessible in current clinical practice. This allows doctors to efficiently decide on the optimal treatment for patients, improving patient care and outcomes, without the need for additional tests.

See-Mode’s debut product, Augmented Vascular Analysis (AVA), is AI software for automated analysis and reporting of vascular ultrasound scans. AVA is approved by the Singapore Health Science Authority (HSA) as a Class B medical device and is commercially available in Singapore, with ongoing pilots in leading hospitals both in Singapore and Australia. AVA uses deep learning, text recognition, and signal processing technologies to assist clinicians in interpreting and reporting vascular ultrasound studies – typically a manual and error-prone process. By significantly reducing the time taken to generate a report from approximately 20 minutes to less than a minute with just a single click, See-Mode’s AVA augments the clinical workflow, resulting in greater overall productivity, accuracy and improved patient outcomes.

At present, See-Mode is pending regulatory approval for AVA in other regions, including the CE mark in Europe and from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr Milad Mohammadzadeh, co-founder and director, See-Mode Technologies, said: “In the current economic environment, we are extremely heartened to have MassMutual Ventures coming on board to lead our Series A round, and to see all of our existing investors renewing their support in our team. Since closing our seed round in 2018, we have been working hard on building additional capabilities for AVA and building a suite of upcoming products. Tackling stroke is no small feat, and we are extremely lucky to be working with an outstanding group of clinicians from leading research institutions globally to further validate our products. The confidence from both our investors and research partners from the medical community lends weight to the importance of See-Mode’s mission of assisting doctors to better predict stroke and treat patients.”

The company aims to continuously add more image interpretation and reporting capabilities to AVA and expanding the product’s capabilities to new clinical use cases. Aside from AVA, See-Mode has been building two other new products – to detect vulnerable plaque using machine learning and to identify high-risk blood flow using computational modelling. The start-up has proof-of-concepts for both products with collaborators in Singapore and Australia, and multi-centre clinical studies are now being conducted with partners across Europe and the United States.

See-Mode has embarked on research partnerships with healthcare institutions such as National University Hospital and Changi General Hospital in Singapore, as well as Austin Health and Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, for further validation of its algorithms and models to assist clinicians in image interpretation and stroke prediction.

Dr Lim Jui, CEO of SGInnovate, said: “The ability to predict the likelihood of stroke hands the initiative back to doctors, who can introduce pre-emptive countermeasures to prevent stroke occurrence. See-Mode’s ability to secure funding in such a challenging climate is recognition of the value and impact of its suite of products, which not only lead to better care, but also reduce the societal burden of stroke.  We are pleased to be a part of See-Mode’s journey right from the beginning, and we look forward to supporting the team as they move to their next stage of development.”

Source: AI stroke predictor start-up raises $7m in funding round