UK AI start-up raises £10M to speed up diagnosis of coronary disease

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A UK artificial intelligence (AI) start-up that has developed technology for the diagnosis of coronary disease has raised £10 million investment.

Ultromics, a spin-out of Oxford University developed its Topological AnalysisTM technology with an aim to reduce diagnostic errors by 75%. The company hopes that its echocardiography analysis technology can increase accuracy for diagnosing coronary artery disease in one of the most widely used diagnostic tests.

The AI algorithm was created by CEO and founder Ross Upton and is currently being evaluated in a multi-centre trial at six NHS hospitals overseen by co-founder Paul Leeson, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford. The trial will expand to 20 hospitals by the end of the year, giving clinicians an early chance to trial the new technology.

The investment will help Ultromics bring its technology to market in the US and make it available in the UK by 2019. The company will also continue its research and development into new diagnostic support products for cardiology.

Speaking about the investment, Upton said: “Our goal is to increase accuracy, consistency and efficiency in cardiology, providing patients with a reliable test and significant saving for healthcare systems worldwide. We’re delighted that we’ve secured this funding so we can commercialise this exciting technology and bring its benefits to patients everywhere.”

John Bell, regius professor of Medicine at Oxford added: “Identifying individuals at high risk when they have coronary heart disease is a challenge. By using the huge amount of extra and smart information offered up by AI systems, we can identify people at risk, diagnose medical problems earlier and more precisely and identify who will benefit from what interventions. Ultromics is an exciting company to watch in this space and a good example of how industry and the NHS can work together effectively, which is a key goal of the UK’s Life Science Industrial Strategy"

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