Israeli artificial intelligence (AI) company, Aisap, has raised $13m in seed funding to propel to market its Point-of-Care Assisted Diagnosis (POCAD) device aimed at simplifying ultrasound procedures so that they can be read by any clinician.

Designed to get around the need for a constantly present ultrasound expert, Aisap says that its POCAD uses AI-driven software and includes what the company calls an “urgency score” that enables medical providers to prioritise cases based on the severity of the condition.

Additionally, Aisap says the device uses deep learning AI capabilities to enable accurate readings even with lower-quality images from handheld machines. It also claims the device is trained on more than 300,000 studies comprising over 24 million video clips, with the technology having been validated by a range of medical experts from the Mayo Clinic.

Aisap CEO, Roni Attali, said: “Obtaining an accurate ultrasound diagnosis in time can literally be the difference between life and death, so the fact that so many patients are forced to wait up to a month for one is nothing short of a global health crisis.

“This problem is particularly acute in rural areas or those with fewer resources, and therefore disproportionately impacts disadvantaged populations.”

The device is currently undergoing trials at Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre ahead of market approval. In one case, still currently under review, 660 patients who had not received a full ultrasound underwent AISAP scans at the Emergency Department or Internal Medicine units. In 29% of those cases, the AISAP solution discovered at least one previously unknown medical condition.

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The majority of the $13m investment into the device came from venture capital firms Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services and Shoni Top Ventures.

Tamir Pardo, head of Aisap’s strategic board, added: “It’s hard to overstate the potential impact of AISAP’s solution. The ability to provide critical diagnoses anywhere, anytime, without the need for a dedicated expert, is a paradigm shift that could save countless lives. That was reason enough for me to make AISAP’s mission my own, and this investment is a crucial milestone in achieving this lofty goal.”

Elsewhere in the market of ultrasound devices, the US-based SecondWave has reported positive initial results from a pilot study investigating its wearable therapeutic ultrasound device to treat chronic and acute inflammatory disorders.