There have been nearly 20 deals to companies using artificial intelligence to reduce the expense and time needed to discover new drugs.
As shown in our artificial intelligence heatmap, healthcare is the hottest area of investment within AI. Investors have poured in $1.5B across nearly 190 deals into healthcare-focused AI startups in the last 5 years.
To understand where the deals are concentrated within healthcare-focused AI companies, we further drilled down to understand which categories of medical care and life sciences were seeing the most funding for AI-focused companies.
Here are a few investment highlights from each category within healthcare:
- Imaging & diagnostics: As we mentioned in our timeline of first fundings to healthcare-focused AI companies, one-third of the healthcare AI startups that raised after January 2015 were working in imaging & diagnostics. This category has become more saturated with companies in recent years compared to other areas of healthcare AI. More than 80% of the deals here were raised after January 2015. Some of the more recent companies to receive first fundings are Advenio TecnoSys, Proscia, and Imagen Technologies.
- Lifestyle management & monitoring: Deals to the category picked up in 2015, though there are fewer companies here than in diagnostics or risk analytics. AiCure, which uses AI to confirm medication ingestion, raised $12.3M in Series A this year from investors including New Leaf Venture Partners and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. Welltok, a Colorado-based health optimization platform, is one of the most well-funded companies in AI in healthcare. It is backed by the IBM Watson Group, among other investors. Another startup, Singapore-based Healint, which developed the migraine buddy app to help patients find patterns in recurring migraines, received $1M in funding last year from investors including the Singapore National Research Foundation.
- Insights & risk analytics: Companies here provide healthcare professionals, including physicians and insurance providers, with predictive insights about a patient’s health using machine learning and natural language processing algorithms. The analytics are based on various factors including medical history and demography. Apixio, for instance, has developed an HCC profiler (HCC is a risk scoring method used by the Center for Medicare Services to adjust payments for plans). They raised over $19M in Series D this year from investors including Bain Capital Ventures, First Analysis, and SSM Partners. Another big data startup, Lumiata, raised $10M in Series B in Q2’16 from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Sandbox Industries. Insights & risk analytics topped the list in aggregate deals since 2015.
- Drug discovery: Startups here are using machine learning algorithms to reduce the time and capital it takes to develop drugs. The largest funding round in this category was a $64.3M round raised by Stratified Medical, with backing from Woodford Investment Management. The company, which is part of the Benevolent.ai group in London, re-branded recently to Benevolent Bio. There have been nearly 20 deals to this category since 2012.
- Emergency room & hospital management: Startups here provide insights and real-time analytics, specifically in a hospital environment. Gauss Surgical, for instance, uses image recognition to monitor blood loss during surgery in real time using an iPad. It raised over $12B in Series B this year from investors including Jump Capital, Summation Health Ventures, Promus Ventures, LifeForce Ventures, and Providence Ventures. Another company, Georgia-based Jvion, raised $9M in Q1’16. Medasense and MedyMatch Technology, both based in Israel, as well Qualaris Healthcare Solutions based in Pittsburgh, raised round this years.
- Wearables: Deals to this category have been fluctuating, but saw an uptick this far in 2016. Startups including BioBeats, PhysIQ, and Magnea, raised rounds this year. Sentrian, a remote patient monitoring startup, raised one of the largest-ever rounds in this category: a $12M Series A round backed by TELUS Ventures, Frost Data Capital, and REV.
- Virtual Assistants: This category has a relatively low deal count, less than 10 since 2012, and has a potential for increased investment activity. One of the startups, Babylon Health in the United Kingdom, was backed earlier this year by investors including Kinnevik and Google DeepMind in a $25M Series A round.
- Metal Health: This is another category with relatively low deal count, as well as fewer companies. Seed-stage startup Avalon uses AI to predict brain degeneration, and focuses on neuro-degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Ginger.io, a mid-stage startup backed by investors like Khosla Venture, and True Ventures, helps patients with depression and anxiety. Its machine learning algorithms uses “smartphone data and self-reported surveys to identify trends in a patient’s health and wellness,” and facilitates timely intervention based on the insights.
- Research: This category includes China-based iCarbonX, which joined the unicorn club in Q2’16. Another startup, Desktop Genetics, helps scientist with genome editing and CRISPR research. It received funding last year from genetic research company Illumina.
- Nutrition: Ireland-based Nuritas uses artificial intelligence to mine data and identify compunds in food that are beneficial to health. Marc Benioff invested over $2M in the company in Q2’16.
Note: the map above only includes equity funding rounds.