Synthetic intelligence for early analysis of illnesses attracts GK Ventures
- November 17, 2022
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Neuralmed has just closed a round to scale up a product that helps identify diabetes and early-stage breast cancer
The NotreDame Intermédica branch in Jundiaí started tests with the artificial intelligence of Neuralmed, a startup that facilitates early diagnosis of diseases, based on a base of 3,000 diabetics identified by the medical team in a contingent of 110,000 lives. With the use of technology, Intermédica discovered that it could, in fact, have over 4,000 potential diabetics, which became an asset to prevent the development of the disease — great for patients, who can be treated even in the initial phase, and also for health plans, with cost reduction in longer and often less efficient treatments.
The initiative began as a pilot project made possible by Intermédica’s investment in Neuralmed — the health group led a round of BRL 10 million in healthtech, holding 9.3% of the capital —, but it has been gaining scale and the technology is close to reach 5 million lives.
The performance of the artificial intelligence developed in recent years by Neuralmed has just attracted GK Ventures. Eduardo Mufarej’s impact investment firm is leading the startup’s series A round, which did not have the amount disclosed. With the contribution, GK joined a group of investors that already included Alexia Ventures, Norte Ventures, MG Tech and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
“Usually, we use our health plan like a body shop, for repairs. But we want to bring it to the driving school system. Let’s drive better to avoid accidents, which in health means taking care of prevention and not just treating the disease when it appears”, compares Anthony Eigier, CEO and co-founder of NeuralMed
In addition to diabetes, the Atlas monitoring modules — the startup’s flagship — already help hospital networks and vertical health plan operators (laboratories such as Fleury and Alliar are also clients) in the diagnosis of hypertension, breast cancer and heart disease . Soon, NeuralMed should launch a module for chronic kidney diseases.
“The idea is to reduce the number of problems”, says Eigier, stressing that the startup is not responsible for making the diagnosis, but rather helping doctors by compiling thousands of data that were unstructured, indicating patients who have a greater potential risk.
To do this, NeuralMed has been training its artificial intelligence since 2018, a system that is capable of reading everything from electronic medical records to image exams. The startup manages to facilitate human work, accessing thousands of information that are already in the system and would be impossible to compile manually by doctors.
“In mammography, there is information called BI-RADS. If the woman is at level 4, there is a possibility of developing breast cancer. Artificial intelligence warns that it is necessary to take the exams frequently”, exemplifies Raphael Falcioni, partner at GK Ventures responsible for the investment.
Atlas is already the company’s most important line of business, but that’s not where the startup started. Founded by Eigier alongside physician André Coutinho, the startup debuted on the market offering an artificial intelligence that is used by hospital emergency departments to facilitate triage, indicating patients who need more urgent care.
The first aid vertical also serves the SUS. Social health organizations (better known by the acronym OSS) such as Seconci-SP and SPDM, which manage hospitals in São Paulo, are NeuralMed’s clients. “Older customers saw an 11% savings in total emergency room care time,” said Eigler. The PS product has been on the market since 2019.
Together, these two NeuralMed lines of business are expected to reach 150 hospitals by the end of the year. With Atlas alone, the startup already helps monitor five million lives, but the idea is to triple its reach over the next year, reaching 15 million.
For this, the startup must use the resources of the round for hiring, which can even double the size of the team in a year and a half, according to Falcioni. Today, there are 25 people. The projection is to generate cash in 2023.
Source: Pipeline Value