Tumor-Spotting Startup Enlitic Raises $10 Million in Funding

  • Capitol Health, Australian radiology provider, led the round
  • Startup aims at $10 billion market for image interpretation

Enlitic, a startup that uses algorithms to analyze radiology scans, raised $10 million in its second round of funding as it starts marketing its technology in Australia and Asia. 

Capitol Health Ltd., the fastest-growing radiology service provider in Australia, led the fundraising, Enlitic Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Howard said in an interview. Capitol Health will also work with Enlitic to roll out its image-reading technology across all its locations in Australia and some soon-to-be determined markets in Asia.

The expansion marks an international shift for the startup, which has primarily worked with radiology and other health providers in the U.S. since it was founded in August 2014. The San Francisco-based company aims to take a majority share of the $10 billion market in the U.S. for radiology image interpretation.

Enlitic’s algorithms are using what the company calls "deep learning” to consume and analyze millions of medical images, teaching the computers how to identify tumors or other anomalies. International Business Machines Corp. is pursuing related technologies with its Watson supercomputer, buying Merge Healthcare Inc. for $1 billion earlier this month for its medical imaging platform.

Supplementing Skills

Enlitic’s technology is intended to supplement the skill of radiologists, allowing them to read scans more effectively and double-check results, Howard said. It isn’t designed to replace people, he said.

“The Google search engine didn’t replace the need for humans to do research,” he said. “We’re doing the same thing to medical data that Google does for web data.”

The startup initially raised $5 million from angel investors and venture capital firms, including Amplify Partners. The additional $10 million announced Tuesday will help Enlitic expand its range of knowledge across a variety of ailments, and begin mapping the human body, according to a statement.

Over time, the company wants to tackle more data types like genomic and pathology data.

“By five years time, I would hope that we would be very much the market leaders in radiology and that we’ll be on our way to integrating these other data types as well,” said Howard.

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