Caption Health, a leading medical artificial intelligence (AI) company, concluded its Series B funding round with $53 million to expand and commercialize its FDA-cleared, AI-guided ultrasound technology that improves patient access to high-quality and essential care. The strategy is to use this investment to scale commercial operations, continue to develop its AI technology platform, and form new partnerships. New clinical capabilities are planned with increased clinical adoption of the Caption AI platform.
Financing was led by existing investor DCVC. New investors Atlantic Bridge and cardiovascular medical device leader Edwards Lifesciences also participated, along with existing investor Khosla Ventures.
We are truly grateful to our investors and to our early adopter clinicians, who have believed in us from the beginning. This capital will enable us to scale our collaborations with leading research institutions, regional health systems, and other providers by making ultrasound available where and when it is needed—across departments, inside and outside the hospital. As the world’s first and only AI-guided ultrasound technology, our goal is to enable all clinicians — regardless of prior experience—to capture diagnostic-quality ultrasounds. In doing so, we aim to have a profound impact on the quality and cost of care for millions of patients around the globe—wherever they access care.Charles Cadieu, CEO of Caption Health
Caption AI Simplifies Ultrasound
Ultrasound is typically used to diagnose cardiac function. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, accounting for around 647,000 deaths each year. A heart ultrasound, also known as an echocardiogram, enables providers to see how the heart is functioning and diagnose and treat various conditions. While access to ultrasound has increased as systems have gotten smaller and more portable, a fundamental challenge remains: performing an ultrasound exam is extremely difficult and requires years of specialized training only a subset of clinicians have.
Caption AI’s transformational new ultrasound technology that enables healthcare practitioners—even those without prior experience—to perform ultrasound exams quickly and accurately by providing expert guidance, automated quality assessment, and intelligent interpretation. It is the first, and only FDA cleared AI-guided medical imaging acquisition system commercially available in the US (as of July 2020).
According to the press release, Caption Health accelerated its plan to bring Caption AI to market in late summer after demand from clinicians caring for patients with COVID-19. The FDA approved an update in May, and the company says it now has 11 hospital system customers, including Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut and Northwestern Medicine in Illinois. The review was cleared after only 25 days, faster than 99% of FDA clearances since 2015. Because it allows clinicians without specialized ultrasound training to capture images at the point of care, Caption AI helps reduce both the risk of exposure to the virus for hospital personnel and the strain on limited resources in hospital emergency rooms and ICUs caring for patients with COVID-19. The press release goes on to state that as medical providers in many states restart services which were stopped at the height of the pandemic, Caption AI is being used to address the imaging needs of a wave of chronic, elderly and comorbid patients returning for necessary care. By expanding the capacity to perform an ultrasound, this safe and effective diagnostic tool is poised to become an essential part of care beyond the hospital in settings such as retail clinics or even in the home.
At Northwestern Medicine, we believe AI-based guidance for cardiac ultrasound acquisition will equip our frontline providers to perform these exams with limited training. This will have a significant impact on our response to COVID-19 while minimizing exposure for our sonographers.Dr. Akhil Narang, Cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine
Caption AI software is currently available fully integrated with a Terason uSmart 3200T Plus portable ultrasound system, which offers a full range of clinical applications including lung, vascular, and abdominal scanning.
The Caption AI platform, which includes Caption Guidance™ and Caption Interpretation™, makes it fundamentally easier to perform ultrasound and receive diagnostic-quality images by providing:
- Expert Guidance – Caption Guidance provides 90-plus types of real-time feedback and instructions to emulate the guidance of a specialist sonographer;
- Automated Quality Assessment – Caption Guidance helps standardize diagnostic-quality exams by accurately assessing, automatically recording, and seamlessly providing real-time feedback on diagnostic image quality;
- Intelligent Interpretation – Caption Interpretation produces an automated ejection fraction calculation—the most widely used measurement to assess cardiac function—from single or multiple cardiac ultrasound views commonly acquired at the point of care (AP4, AP2, PLAX).
About Caption Health
Caption Health was founded in 2013 on a simple but powerful concept: what if we could use technology to emulate the expertise of highly trained medical experts and put that ability into the hands of every care provider? Our vision is to move specialty diagnostics and decision making to the point of care for every patient exam. We are delivering AI systems that empower healthcare providers with new capabilities to acquire and interpret ultrasound exams. For more information, go to www.captionhealth.com.