Gen.t Together with her husband, the cardiologist founded medtech startup Us2.ai to automate the fight against heart disease
The cardiologist is automating the fight against heart disease
Cardiologist Carolyn Lam wants to improve the efficiency and accuracy of doctors like herself in their diagnosis of heart conditions. The solution? Using machine learning to automate the analysis of echocardiograms, or ultrasound images of the heart.
This idea was sparked about three years ago when her technopreneur husband James Hare went for a routine check-up on his heart and received two opposing prognoses— one good, the other not so good. Thankfully, a third opinion found his heart healthy but that episode opened their eyes to a business opportunity that would make the diagnosis of heart conditions easier and more accessible to all doctors—and not just sonographers and cardiologists— using artificial intelligence (AI).
In 2017, the couple established medtech start-up Us2.ai with Dutch cardiovascular researcher Yoran Hummel and Englishman Paul Seekings, the former chief technology officer of internet of things solutions company Embodied Sensing. Us2.ai has been developing an AI diagnostic software and recently secured seed funding from investment firms Sequoia India and EDBI. The software is currently in the regulatory approval process and Lam expects to receive the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration early this year. She shares her startup’s vision.
Us2.ai uses AI to fully automate
the ultrasound screening procedure of the heart, which is the safest and most commonly used tool to image the organ. We’re taking a process that usually takes 30 minutes and 250 manual clicks with less than 20 per cent variability and reducing it to two minutes and one click, with zero variability.
The name Us2.ai is a combination of
the very common acronym for ultrasound, “US”, and our mission to expand access to Ai-enabled ultrasound to everyone.
Our target audience for now is the medical community.
We want to make doctors like myself more efficient and accurate in their diagnosis. Eventually, we want to bring our software to everyone as a way of putting heart health into one’s own hands—similar to the way AI has democratised electrography from a specialist’s tool to a feature on one’s watch!
We are in the process of obtaining regulatory approval for our first clinical product.
The biggest obstacle has been the length of time it takes to obtain the human readings on which we will validate our product against. It takes months to generate by hand the data that our software will produce in a few hours. This is precisely why we built our software—there are enormous efficiency gains possible with AI.
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