While much of the world eagerly watches to see if the vaccination rollout helps curb and eventually stamp out Covid-19, one of the companies that has been helping to manage the spread of the virus is announcing a big round of funding on the heels for strong demand for its technology.
Huma, which combines data from biomarkers with predictive algorithms both to help monitor patients, and uses the same technology to help researchers and pharmaceutical companies run clinical trials, has closed an equity round of $130 million, a Series C that the company can extend to $200 million by way of a $70 million debt line if it chooses.
Huma can pick up data that patients contribute via smartphones, or by way of diagnostic devices that measure glucose, blood pressure or oxygen saturation, and the plan will be to use the funding to augment that in a couple of ways: to continue investing in R&D to both expand the kinds of biomarkers that Huma can measure and to work on more research and trials; to continue expanding London-based Huma’s business particularly in newer geographies like the US, alongside a strong wave of business it’s been seeing in Europe, specifically the UK and the DACH region.
The funding includes a number of high-profile strategic and financial backers that speak to some of the opportunities coming down the pike. Co-led by Leaps by Bayer, the VC division of the pharmaceutical and life sciences giant, and Hitachi Ventures, it also includes Samsung Next, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV (one of Sony’s investment funds), Unilever Ventures and HAT Technology & Innovation Fund, Nikesh Arora (the former president of SoftBank and ex-Google exec) and Michael Diekmann (Chairman of Allianz) all in the round. Bayer also led Huma’s $25 million Series B in 2019, when the startup was still called Medopad.
Medopad rebranded to Huma last year in April, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was really taking hold across the world. In the year since, CEO and founder Dan Vahdat said that the company has been on a growth tear, working hard across the spectrum of areas where its technology could prove useful, since it provides a bridge to monitoring patients remotely, at a time when it’s been significantly more challenging to see people in person.
“Last year when the pandemic first hit, it made everyone’s lives miserable not just from the health aspect but also research aspect,” he said. “The whole idea is how to decentralize care and research.”
Its work has included partnering with the NHS early on to ship some 1 million oxygen saturation devices to monitor how patients’ levels were faring, since that was early on discovered to be a leading indicator of whether a patient would need urgent medical care: this was essential way to triage people remotely at a time when hospitals were quickly getting overwhelmed with people. Vahdat said this directly helped reduce readmissions by one-third.
It is also playing a role in helping to monitor all the many patients who had been due to have operations but found those postponed. In the UK alone, there were 4.8 million people waiting as a result for their procedures, “a shocking number,” Vahdat said. How to handle that queue? The idea here, he said, is that when you are a patient at home waiting for cardiac surgery, your condition might deteriorate quickly. Or it may not. Huma set up a system to provide diagnostics for those patients to monitor how they were doing: signs that they were not doing well meant they would get moved up and brought in to be seen by a specialist before they deteriorated and became urgent rather than managed cases.
Alongside this clinical work, Huma has also been working on a number of trials and research, including a phase 4 study on one of the Covid-19 vaccines that has been getting distributed under emergency authorization (this is a regulatory process that comes in the wake of that authorization).
It’s also been continuing to contribute essential data to ongoing medical research. One that the company can disclose that is not directly related to Covid-19 is a heart study for Bayer; and one that is related to Covid-19 — finding better biomarkers (specifically in looking at digital phenotypes) to detect Covid-19 infections earlier — called the Cambridge Fenland study.
This long list of work has meant that Huma still has much of its Series B in the bank, and so it’s also been turning its attention to humanitarian work, donating resources to India and other countries still in the throes of their own Covid-19 crises.
Although startups that bridge the worlds of medicine and technology can be very long plays, the last year has shown not just how vital it is to invest in the smartest of these to see out their ambitions for the greater good of all of us, but that, when they do have their breakthroughs, it can prove to be a huge thing for the companies and investors. BioNTech’s last year has been nothing short of a stratospheric turnaround, going from a loss-making business to one producing more than $1 billion in profit in the last quarter on the back of its Covid-19 vaccine research and work with Pfizer.
It’s for that reason that so many investors are keen to continue supporting the likes of Huma and the insights it provides.
“Aligned with the vision of Leaps by Bayer, Huma’s expertise and technology will help drive a global paradigm shift towards prevention and care and may boost research efforts using data and digital technology,” said Juergen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer, in a statement. “We invest into the most disruptive technologies of our time that have the potential to change the world for the better. As an early investor into Huma we know how perfectly the company fits into that frame as one of the leading digital innovators in healthcare and life sciences.”
“Huma has built a comprehensive remote patient monitoring platform and established a strong track-record and we are excited to be working with Huma to bring its world-leading health technology to new markets in Asia. We believe that together we can advance new digital health products to power better care and research for all,” added Keiji Kojima, EVP of Hitachi’s Smart Life division.
Usage of AI for Customer Behavior Analysis
The world is getting revolutionized with the impact of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. These digital technologies have impacted various sectors and became valuable to humankind.
Artificial intelligence is the technology that has created a revolution in the business sector by offering advanced solutions and tactics for the effective growth of the business. Business people are keen on applying such digital solutions where they can take advantage of AI. They are getting digitally equipped by having an online platform through which they can run a business online as well as take advantage of AI and other such technologies.
“The fascination of AI has been disrupting the business sector like never before and rightly so because of the wings it offers to them to fly.”
In recent times, from small businesses to large scale, everyone is introducing digitization to their business to go on the digital floors. The online business concept has been a crucial turnaround in the business sector and elevated the business scope. Whether it is small grocers who build grocery apps to serve their audiences online or the supermarkets that run business digitally and advancing their consumer service, all of them are taking healthy advantage of digital solutions.
The adoption of digital solutions opens up the doors of innovation for business people to grow their business with concepts like AI. Artificial intelligence is the latest trend which business people are focusing on, and the variations it offers are impeccable.
One of the outstanding uses of AI in the business world is customer service. It can be a very valuable integration because it is the concept that can be used for key analysis on customer behaviour and offering an outstanding experience to consumers.
AI In Customer Behaviour Analysis
If you want to succeed in the business world, you need to acknowledge your customers and target audiences well enough. The more you know about them, the more you have a chance to succeed, and that is because you will be able to offer better service to them as you already have insights about them.
“The integration of AI gives the liberty of customer behaviour analysis to the business model, which can be very helpful for the growth of the business. “
Businesspeople used to do customer behaviour analysis before, but previously due to lack of technologies, it was way more time-consuming. With concepts like Artificial intelligence, things have become more accessible. It is the concept that helps in analyzing the customer behaviour deeply so that you can take proper actions to offer amazing services to customers and eventually reduce the churn rate.
Aspects Of Customer Behaviour Analysis With AI
Customer behaviour analysis can be a better sight for achieving business growth, and to comfortably execute it AI is there for you. Businesses need to deal with customer expectations, preferences, satisfaction, wishes, etc., and if they succeed in this, the customers will be happy. Thus, intelligent analysis is required to clear all the aspects in offering the best service.
Understanding Purchasing Habits
Artificial intelligence will allow business people to know and understand the purchasing habits of potential or current customers. AI records all the points of interaction with customers for deep analysis and extracting the best meaningful outcome from it. Artificial intelligence analyses the customer’s purchase habits by having records of data that has been collected.
Knowing Customer Expectations
Fulfilling customer expectations is very important in the business world. If you understand what customers are expecting in terms of product quality, quantity, tastes, use, prices, etc., and you are successfully delivering it to them. In that case, that is the best thing happening to your business. AI-powered businesses have the advantage of understanding customer expectations through various customer behaviour analyses.
Forecasting Customer Needs
Forecasting customer needs can be very advantageous, and artificial intelligence is here for you to analyze customers’ future needs. Different customers have their individual requirements, and with AI, personalized approaches can be provided. The analysis of customer behaviour will allow them to forecast the needs of customers, and it will help in recommending the products and services in advance, which will be very effective in increasing sales.
How AI Does Customer Behaviour Analysis?
Artificial intelligence is the technology that records information about customers’ sentiments when they surf the internet world. AI collects the requisite information and extracts meaningful insight from it, which helps understand customer behaviour through analysis. The insights like buying preferences and frequencies are revealed with the help of Artificial intelligence.
Reduction In Churn Rate With AI
The customer behaviour analysis will elevate the customer experiences as business people will take some actions depending on the output of the analysis. The churn rate is something that business people need to reduce to grow their business. Artificial intelligence will help business people to improve their churn rate because of customer behaviour analysis.
- Empower business as AI drives better customer service
- Greater customer experience by understanding customer behaviour.
- Hence, betterment in customer service will reduce the churn rate.
Due to the analysis, the businesses will be able to offer better experiences to customers by improving customer service. The betterment in the customer service will have a good impact on the business model, and customers are likely to enjoy it, which will increase customer retention. Thus, businesses will not lose customers, and their churn rate will not be reduced.
Cultural Shift In Business World Must Occur
The business sector is still in the initial stage of integrating such advanced technologies as Artificial intelligence. According to Forbes, only 23% of current business respondents use AI for running their business. Business people need to understand the importance of AI and other such technologies. That is how the cultural shift in the business sector will happen, which will have more room for advanced technologies.
The main reason behind business people not actively supporting integrating the technologies is the realization of their importance. Another important reason is that they believe in hype that these technological solutions are very complex. If the efforts are put in integrating such, it offers a great outcome for them. Thus, the realization of the importance will lead the path of the cultural shift in the business sector.
“The technological shift in the business sector will open new doors of innovation and discover the new path of success”
Artificial intelligence can create a crucial turnaround in the entire sector because of its verticals. Customer behavior analysis being the most advantageous factor of integrating AI in the retail sector. Thus, the scope of AI in business is wide and fruitful.
The use of AI in customer behaviour analysis will greatly impact the ventures and give it better scope for succeeding. The analytical solutions it offers are outstanding. There are major benefits to the business if they are able to understand and predict their customers’ behaviour regarding their products and services.
The current industry giants are already using AI and have great benefits in getting popularity. The rise in overall business standards is the excellent advantage of integrating technology solutions. Thus, with time and room, AI will continue to disrupt the commercial sector with its wings.
— Brijesh is the tech activist, blogger, and internet marketing officer of Elluminati Inc
Nvidia’s Canvas AI painting tool instantly turns blobs into realistic landscapes
AI has been filling in the gaps for illustrators and photographers for years now — literally, it intelligently fills gaps with visual content. But the latest tools are aimed at letting an AI give artists a hand from the earliest, blank-canvas stages of a piece. Nvidia’s new Canvas tool lets the creator rough in a landscape like paint-by-numbers blobs, then fills it in with convincingly photorealistic (if not quite gallery-ready) content.
Each distinct color represents a different type of feature: mountains, water, grass, ruins, etc. When colors are blobbed onto the canvas, the crude sketch is passed to a generative adversarial network. GANs essentially pass content back and forth between a creator AI that tries to make (in this case) a realistic image and a detector AI that evaluates how realistic that image is. These work together to make what they think is a fairly realistic depiction of what’s been suggested.
It’s pretty much a more user-friendly version of the prototype GauGAN (get it?) shown at CVPR in 2019. This one is much smoother around the edges, produces better imagery, and can run on any Windows computer with a decent Nvidia graphics card.
This method has been used to create very realistic faces, animals and landscapes, though there’s usually some kind of “tell” that a human can spot. But the Canvas app isn’t trying to make something indistinguishable from reality — as concept artist Jama Jurabaev explains in the video below, it’s more about being able to experiment freely with imagery more detailed than a doodle.
For instance, if you want to have a moldering ruin in a field with a river off to one side, a quick pencil sketch can only tell you so much about what the final piece might look like. What if you have it one way in your head, and then two hours of painting and coloring later you realize that because the sun is setting on the left side of the painting, it makes the shadows awkward in the foreground?
If instead you just scribbled these features into Canvas, you might see that this was the case right away, and move on to the next idea. There are even ways to quickly change the time of day, palette, and other high-level parameters so they can quickly be evaluated as options.
“I’m not afraid of blank canvas any more,” said Jurabaev. “I’m not afraid to make very big changes, because I know there’s always AI helping me out with details… I can put all my effort into the creative side of things, and I’ll let Canvas handle the rest.”
It’s very like Google’s Chimera Painter, if you remember that particular nightmare fuel, in which an almost identical process was used to create fantastic animals. Instead of snow, rock and bushes, it had hind leg, fur, teeth and so on, which made it rather more complicated to use and easy to go wrong with.
Still, it may be better than the alternative, for certainly an amateur like myself could never draw even the weird tube-like animals that resulted from basic blob painting.
Unlike the Chimera Creator, however, this app is run locally, and requires a beefy Nvidia video card to do it. GPUs have long been the hardware of choice for machine learning applications, and something like a real-time GAN definitely needs a chunky one. You can download the app for free here.
How one founder realized satellite internet didn’t have to be fast or expensive to be useful
It’s hard to understand just how steeply the cost of launching and operating satellites has dropped, particularly since the introduction of lower cost launch services from a number of commercial players, and the maturation of the smartphone supply chain. Swarm co-founder and CEO realized just how much the cost curve had changed when she and her co-founder Ben Longmeir realized that they could outfit tiny satellites Longmeir had created as a kind of space lover’s hobby with the equipment needed to provide low-bandwidth connectivity to low-powered devices around the world.
In this week’s episode of Found, Sara walks us through how she went from an engineering career that included stints at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Google, to building Swarm as a first-time founder and CEO. We covered a range of topics including how Sara and Ben decided who would be CEO, what it’s like leading a small but growing team, and how to evaluate your decisions as a founder, and commit to a course of action to move forward.
Sara was extremely candid with us about her experience as a founder and CEO, and this is definitely one of our most open and honest conversations to date.
We loved our time chatting with Sara, and we hope you love yours listening to the episode. And of course, we’d love if you can subscribe to Found in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Google Podcasts or in your podcast app of choice. Please leave us a review and let us know what you think, or send us direct feedback either on Twitter or via email at email@example.com. And please join us again next week for our next featured founder.
As clinical guidelines shift, heart disease screening startup pulls in $43M Series B
Cleerly Coronary, a company that uses A.I powered imaging to analyze heart scans, announced a $43 million Series B funding this week. The funding comes at a moment when it seems that a new way of screening for heart disease is on its way.
Cleerly was started in 2017 by James K. Min a cardiologist, and the director of the Dalio Institute for Cardiac Imaging at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College. The company, which uses A.I to analyze detailed CT scans of the heart, has 60 employees, and has raised $54 million in total funding.
The Series B round was led by Vensana Capital, but also included LVR Health, New Leaf Venture Partners, DigiTx Partners, and Cigna Ventures.
The startup’s aim is to provide analysis of detailed pictures of the human heart that have been examined by artificial intelligence. This analysis is based on images taken via Cardiac Computer Tomography Angiogram (CTA), a new, but rapidly growing manner of scanning for plaques.
“We focus on the entire heart, so every artery, and its branches, and then atherosclerosis characterization and quantification,” says Min. “We look at all of the plaque buildup in the artery, [and] the walls of the artery, which historical and traditional methods that we’ve used in cardiology have never been able to do.”
Cleerly is a web application, and it requires that a CTA image specifically, which the A.I. is trained to analyze, is actually taken when patients go in for a checkup.
When a patient goes in for a heart exam after experiencing a symptom like chest pain, there are a few ways they can be screened. They might undergo a stress test, an echocardiogram (ECG), or a coronary angiogram – a catheter and x-ray-based test. CTA is a newer form of imaging in which a scanner takes detailed images of the heart, which is illuminated with an injected dye.
Cleerly’s platform is designed to analyze those CTA images in detail, but they’ve only recently become a first-line test (a go-to, in essence) when patients come in with suspected heart problems. The European Society of Cardiology updated guidelines to make CTA a first-line test in evaluating patients with chronic coronary disease. In the UK, it became a first-line test in the evaluation of patients with chest pain in 2016.
CTA is already used in the US, but guidelines may expand how often it’s actually used. A review on CTA published on the American College of Cardiology website notes that it shows “extraordinary potential.”
There’s movement on the insurance side, too. In 2020, United Healthcare announced the company will now reimburse for CTA scans when they’re ordered to examine low-to medium risk patients with chest pain. Reimbursement qualification is obviously a huge boon to broader adoption.
CTA imaging might not be great for people who already have stents in their hearts, or, says Min, those who are just in for a routine checkup (there is low-dose radiation associated with a CTA scan). Rather, Cleerly will focus on patients who have shown symptoms or are already at high risk for heart disease.
The CDC estimates that currently 18.2 million adults currently have coronary artery heart disease (the most common kind), and that 47 percent of Americans have one of the three most prominent risk factors for the disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a smoking habit.
These shifts (and anticipated shifts) in guidelines suggest that a lot more of these high-risk patients may be getting CTA scans in the future, and Cleerly has been working on mining additional information from them in several large-scale clinical trials.
There are plenty of different risk factors that contribute to heart disease, but the most basic understanding is that heart attacks happen when plaques build up in the arteries, which narrows the arteries and constricts the flow of blood. Clinical trials have suggested that the types of plaques inside the body may contain information about how risky certain blockages are compared to others beyond just much of the artery they block.
A trial on 25,251 patients found that, indeed, the percentage of construction in the arteries increases the risk of heart attack. But the type of plaque in those arteries identified high-risk patients better than other measures. Patients who went on to have sudden heart attacks, for example, tended to have higher levels of fibrofatty or necrotic core plaque in their hearts.
These results do suggest that it’s worth knowing a bit more detail about plaque in the heart. Note that Min is an author of this study, but it was also conducted at 13 different medical centers.
As with all A.I based diagnostic tools the big question is: How well does it actually recognize features within a scan?
At the moment FDA documents emphasize that it is not meant to supplant a trained medical professional who can interpret the results of a scan. But tests have suggested it fares pretty well.
A June 2021 study compared Cleerly’s A.I analysis of CTA scans to that of three expert readers, and found that the A.I had a diagnostic accuracy of about 99.7 percent when evaluating patients who had severe narrowing in their arteries. Three of nine study authors hold equity in Cleerly.
With this most recent round of funding, Min says he aims to pursue more commercial partnerships and scale up to meet the existing demand. “We have sort of stayed under the radar, but we came above the radar because now I think we’re prepared to fulfill demand,” he says.
Still, the product itself will continue to be tested and refined. Cleerly is in the midst of seven performance indication studies that will evaluate just how well the software can spot the litany of plaques that can build up in the heart.
Select Smart Genshin Impact: How to Make the Personality Quiz Work
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance Voice Actors: Who Voices Utaar?
Bitmain Released New Mining Machines For DOGE And LTC
Is Margex A Scam?
Genshin Impact Grand Line Conch Locations
Inna Braverman, Founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power Will be Speaking at the 2021 Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg
Valorant Patch 3.00 Agent Tier List
Yearn Finance (YFI) and Synthetix (SNX) Technical Analysis: What to Expect?
TCS bats for satellite offices, more women in the workforce
Chivalry 2 Crossplay Not Working: Is There a Fix?
5 Things to Do Before Shadowlands 9.1
Is Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance Crossplay?
New Modular SaaS Platform for Financial Services Sector Launched by Ezbob, a Customer Acquisition Tech Provider
SAS Was The First Airline To Operate A Polar Route
Cardano, Chainlink, Filecoin Price Analysis: 21 June
Ruined Pantheon Prestige Edition Splash Art, Price, Release, How to Get
Amplifying Her Voice June 22, 10:45AM to June 24, 4:00PM EST BERMUDA
The Antonov An-124 Vs An-225: What Are The Differences?
Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending June 19, 2021
Fintech nate, a Universal and Streamlined Commerce App, Secures $38M in Capital via Series A led by Renegade Partners
Esports5 days ago
Select Smart Genshin Impact: How to Make the Personality Quiz Work
Esports2 days ago
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance Voice Actors: Who Voices Utaar?
Esports1 week ago
World of Warcraft 9.1 Release Date: When is it?
Esports1 week ago
Here are the patch notes for Brawl Stars’ Jurassic Splash update
Energy7 days ago
IT-OT Convergence Steers the Global Industry 4.0 Market for Mechanical Test Applications towards Prosperity
Crowdfunding1 week ago
Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Initiates Consultation on Proposals for Treatment of Banks’ Digital Asset Exposures
Start Ups1 week ago
Canadians are polite, but we’re still recruiting your biotech talent, America
Blockchain5 days ago
Bitmain Released New Mining Machines For DOGE And LTC
Energy1 week ago
Biocides Market worth $13.6 billion by 2026 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™
Energy1 week ago
S&C Electric Company Introduces New Sustainable Switchgear Design
Blockchain6 days ago
Blockchain Intelligence Firm TRM Labs Secures $14 Million in Funding
Energy1 week ago
Vanguard Renewables Names Joel Gay Chief Executive Officer