Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, the venture capital arm of Chinese tech firm Lenovo Group Ltd., has led a RMB20 million (US$3 million) series A round in Imsight Medical, a start-up developing artificial intelligence-assisted medical imaging analysis tools.
Founded in February 2017, Imsight Medical’s products use computer medical image analysis and artificial intelligence to provide rapid and accurate diagnosis and treatment programs, reducing the time doctors need to spend on cumbersome, repetitive work, according to a company announcement.
"The application of smart technologies to the traditional healthcare industry is an important future trend," said He Zhiqiang, president of Lenovo Capital. "Machines will perform better in making accurate, efficient and precise decisions in medical care."
More than 50% of Chinese radiologists spend eight or more hours a day reading results, and over 20% of the radiologists work more than ten hours per day, according to a 2016 survey of 1,241 medical imaging doctors. At the same time, China’s medical imaging market is growing at a 30% annual growth rate, while the number of trained radiologist is growing at only 4.1% per year, indicating an widening gap between supply and demand.
Image analysis done by machines is more efficient and accurate than human doctors, the company claims. For a CT scan early diagnosis of lung cancer, a senior doctor takes three to five minutes to conduct lesion discovery, anatomical positioning, qualitative and quantitative analysis, while Imsight Medical’s product needs about ten seconds to do the same work with a guaranteed sensitivity ratio to pulmonary nodules detection of over 90%, says the start-up.
Imsight Medical, which was initially a program developed in Lenovo Capital’s incubator, is cooperating with Lenovo Group’s big data and smart healthcare initiatives. Lenovo Capital, as a strategic investor, has also introduced the start-up to key partners including major hospitals in Sichuan and Guangzhou province.
Based in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Imsight Medical previously received funding from the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission. The company will use the latest proceeds to expand its core team, improve its technology and product development.