Artificial Intelligence in X-ray Imaging Technologies

26 Jul

Dr. Karim S. Karim

Interview with Dr. Karim S. Karim, PhD, PEng, MBA, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of KA Imaging

By Erika Wu, Business Development Representative, LSN

Dr. Karim S. Karim, PhD, PEng, MBA, is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of KA Imaging. Karim has developed novel X-ray imaging devices and systems since 1998 and has founded multiple startups in the past two decades. He is also a Professor of Engineering at the University of Waterloo where he has raised more than $15M in research grant funding, trained over 40 PhD and MASc students, has co-authored 250+ publications and 50+ patents. Some of the pixel circuit technology he developed during his PhD is now used in ultrasonic fingerprint sensors in mobile phones and tablets.

Erika Wu: How is artificial intelligence incorporated into your product, and where is KA Imaging now?

Dr. Karim S. Karim: KA Imaging is a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo in Canada and specializes in developing innovative X-ray imaging technologies and systems to create solutions for the medical, veterinary and non-destructive test industrial markets. Our vision is innovative X-ray everywhere and our mission is to enable our employees the freedom to innovate and create high performance products, for our customers, using cutting edge advances in X-ray technologies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a critical part of ongoing innovation in the X-ray imaging space – it has been shown to help clinicians improve diagnostic accuracy and it has also been used to improve X-ray image quality. Our flagship product is the Reveal 35C, the world’s first portable, single-exposure, dual-energy X-ray detector that enables early detection compared to traditional X-ray solutions. Reveal is vendor-agnostic and can be retrofit onto any fixed or portable X-ray machine. What this means for clinicians is that they can instantly become more effective and efficient with their time recognizing diseases earlier and with greater confidence. What this means for patients is better outcomes so they can go home sooner and safely. Unlike standard X-ray, dual-energy X-ray techniques from our flagship product, Reveal 35C, leverage the wealth of spectral data that is present yet hidden in each conventional X-ray spectrum to achieve better bone and tissue contrast. AI algorithms can leverage this spectrally separated data to achieve more accurate image interpretation and analyses compared to AI algorithms that use only the data obtained from a standard X-ray detector.

We are actively seeking funding up to $25M USD in a Series B financing round. We are also looking for strategic OEM/integrator and distribution partnerships to grow our sales channels in North America and internationally. The Reveal 35C is FDA-cleared, Health Canada-approved, TGA Australia-approved, and is expected to be cleared for sale in Europe next year. Recently, we signed up Alpha Imaging as a distribution partner in the USA as well as a number of international distributors in Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan. Reveal 35C was also recognized as a Technology Breakthrough by Premier, a leading technology-driven healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,100 US hospitals and 200,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare. Reveal 35C was also listed in the 2021 WHO Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies.

Erika Wu: If you could describe AI in three words, what would they be? What is a piece of advice you’d give to startup CEOs?

Dr. Karim S. Karim: AI is transformative, helpful, and inevitable. My advice is, “People before things always” or alternately, “Put people ahead of other stuff.” People may forget the content of a conversation you had, but they rarely forget the feeling you’ve left them with, so choose your words and actions wisely.

Erika Wu: What are some challenges you’ve learned from and how have they impacted the future of KA Imaging?

Dr. Karim S. Karim: The medical device field is very unusual because you have to promote your product as innovative to investors and incremental to regulatory bodies simultaneously. Jokes aside, for a technology to translate into a really innovative product, your product must do everything the existing market leader is doing and still improve something. This is why Reveal 35C is simultaneously the world’s best X-ray detector and the world’s first portable dual energy X-ray detector. Our team worked hard to achieve this so that ultimately, we would have a chance to replace every X-ray detector in the world with a Reveal 35C. So our staff designed Reveal 35C to use the same dose, the same X-ray source, and the same clinical workflow as a standard X-ray detector, and we put the entire product into a package that looks, weighs and feels like a standard X-ray detector. Yet, the user can get two extra bone and soft tissue dual-energy X-ray images in addition to the standard X-ray image simultaneously using only one exposure. Reveal 35C is highly innovative because it uses the existing information in the X-ray spectrum (which is ignored by standard X-ray) and provides this to both clinicians and AI software for enhanced decision-making.

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Hot AI Mandate: US-based VC Invests Globally in Novel Technologies & Platforms Across Life Sciences

26 Jul

Founded in 1986 with offices in the US and Ireland, a venture capital firm recently closed its latest fund, the firm’s largest fund to date with over $1.85B. The firm’s size of investment can largely vary; the firm can invest as little as $50K all the way up to hundreds of millions over the life of investment. The firm is open to investment opportunities globally.

The firm is currently interested in novel concepts and platforms across the life sciences. The firm invests in therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, life science tools, and has a lesser interest in technology-led companies in the healthcare IT space (the firm is not interested in service-based/SaaS healthcare IT businesses). The firm has made many investments in these particular areas: infectious disease, mental health, immunology, genomic and biological tools, data sciences and ways of reimagining diagnostics and therapies. The firm prefers early stage opportunities; in therapeutics, the firm focuses on pre-IND technologies.

The firm only invests in privately held companies that have not previously raised a Series A round or a significant seed round. The firm is a highly hands-on, active investor.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email resi@lifesciencenation.com.

Hot AI Mandate: Japan-based Pharma with Venture Arm Makes Strategic Investments Globally in Neurology & Oncology

26 Jul

Established in 1941, a pharmaceutical company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, operating globally in terms of R&D, manufacturing, distribution and marketing, with a strong focus on prescription medicines. The corporate investment arm of the company has offices in USA and a headquarter in Tokyo, Japan. The firm has a budget of $140M USD ($15B JPY) to make strategic equity investments in early-stage companies that align with the company’s core business. The firm will invest between $1-5M in seed to mid-stage companies, with Series A being the sweet spot. The firm is open to global opportunities.

The firm is interested in opportunities that are synergistic with their research and development pipeline in neurology and oncology. The firm is interested in pharmaceutical drugs across various modalities, including but not limited to antibodies, peptides, nucleic acids, and cell/gene therapy. The firm is also interested in digital therapeutics, IT solutions, and diagnostics. Within neurology, the firm is strongly interested in (but not limited to) neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease as well as epilepsy and sleep disorders. Within oncology, the firm is interested in solid tumors (breast, liver, lung, etc).

The firm is a flexible investor and can act as a lead or follow-on investor. The corporate venture investment closely collaborates with the firm’s business development and leverages its global network of pharmaceuticals, research universities, etc. to identify and collaborate with cutting-edge opportunities.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email resi@lifesciencenation.com.

Hot AI Mandate: US-based Global Medical Device Company Seeks Partnerships with Medtech Companies

26 Jul

A medical device company based in California, USA, with offices worldwide is interested in partnering with medical technology companies. Depending on the stage of the company, these partnerships may include follow-on investments in early-stage equity investments, joint technology development, commercial agreements or acquisitions. The firm typically does not act as a lead investor in equity rounds. The firm can partner with companies based anywhere in the world.

The firm is interested in technologies that strategically align with the firm’s core business. Areas of interest include new technology in 2D and 3D imaging, visualization, 3D printing, materials science, and digital health and AI, and diagnostics for oral diseases. The firm generally partners with companies at an early stage of development.

The firm can partner with companies at any stage but the type of partnership depends on the maturity of the company; for example, the firm may form joint development agreements with early stage companies or make equity investments, and for later stage companies may form commercial or distribution agreements.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email resi@lifesciencenation.com.

RESI Longevity & Social Isolation

22 Jul

By Caitlin Dolegowski, Marketing Specialist, LSN

Caiti

Against the light of scientific innovation meeting the COVID-19 global pandemic remains the shadow of a continuing public health crisis, one disproportionately carried by older adults and seniors. RESI Longevity’s Social Isolation & Loneliness panel, taking place September 16, 10 AM EDT, discusses the health implications of this issue, as well as highlights the ingenuity in this sector. The panel features entrepreneurs and strategic partners working together to bring about creative solutions to issues of isolation.

Tombot Co-Founder and CEO, Tom Stevens is sharing an answer to seniors who are no longer able to care for a live animal but benefit from furry companionship. The solution is Jennie the robotic golden retriever, who is not only adorably realistic, but is designed to help with stress, anxiety loneliness, and depression.

Karen Dolva, Co-Founder and CEO of No Isolation offers a solution that enables seniors to access their loved ones from the comfort and safety of their homes. The Komp is a one button computer that allows access to photos, messages, and even live video with ease.

Join Karen, Tom (and Jennie) and other creative age-tech companies along with their strategic partners at RESI Longevity this September 16-17. Register by August 6 to save $50! If you’re ready to connect directly to investors who are a fit for your product and stage of development, apply for the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge, an opportunity to pitch to a panel of active investors and tell your company story. Learn more and apply by August 20!

Get Started on Your Global Roadshow

22 Jul

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Have you ever left a meeting with a potential partner thinking it was a blast, but only to learn later that it was a bust? While there are many reasons why that could be, the virtual Global Roadshow Prep Course is designed to rule out factors within your control. A pre-conference companion course to RESI Partnering Week, September 13-17, this virtual course is meant to prepare you and your company to make meaningful connections with the right investors who are a fit for your product and stage of development.

This hands-on, one-day campaign preparation class will explore the process, materials, research, and practices that will speak directly to potential partners and will provide you with invaluable experience to set you up with long-term fundraising skills. 

view the agenda

Learning objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • Branding and messaging communicating your company’s unique story and market value
  • Understanding and creating collateral for use in a pitch setting, including tagline, elevator pitch, executive summary, and slide deck
  • Discovering the values of different types of investors and identifying the best fit -based leads
  • Communicating effectively in order to secure a meeting and following up to develop an ongoing relationship
  • Engaging in successful partnering strategies to obtain funding and strategic partnership

The virtual course is available to 24 early-stage CEOs and includes complimentary registration to RESI Partnering Week with Premier Partnering access for only $1,950! Sign up today to get started on your global roadshow!

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Free Fundraising Bootcamps for Life Science Entrepreneurs Raising Capital

22 Jul

By Candice He, Global Investment Strategist, LSN

A common myth is that the best products sell themselves. The reality is that a great outreach strategy can make a huge difference in the fundraising arena! Over the past nine years, Life Science Nation (LSN) has been working with 2,000+ life science startups each year to connect them with global investors and strategic partners. Our interactions with both companies and investors have given us an insider’s knowledge on some of the key strategies that can help make a fundraise successful.

To help more early-stage companies gain tactical fundraising skills, LSN will offer four complimentary, virtual Fundraising Bootcamps. The Fundraising Bootcamp is invaluable to CEOs seeking financing to help them position themselves as they raise capital to move their technologies forward in the development process. The following topics will be covered in this 1-hour webinar:

  • Debunking the Top 10 Myths in Fundraising
  • How to Get Your Global Target List of Investors
  • Partnering Strategy: Preparing for your Investor Meetings
Fundraising Bootcamp Schedule
Europe/Middle East Investor Landscape – Fundraising Bootcamp
July 28, Wednesday, 10 AM EDT Register Here
Fundraising Bootcamp and Keys to Successful Partnering
August 4, Wednesday, 12 PM EDT Register Here
August 11, Wednesday, 10 AM EDT Register Here
August 18, Wednesday, 2 PM EDT Register Here
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