One of imaging AI’s hottest segments just got even hotter with the completion of Us2.ai’s $15M Series A round and the global launch of its flagship echocardiography AI solution. It’s been at least a year since we led-off a newsletter with a funding announcement, but Us2.ai’s unique foundation and the echo AI segment’s rapid evolution makes this a story worth telling…
Us2.ai has already achieved FDA clearance, a growing list of clinical evidence, and key hardware and pharma alliances (EchoNous & AstraZeneca).
- The Singapore-based startup also has a unique level of credibility, including co-founders with a history of clinical and business success, and VC support from IHH Healthcare (the world’s second largest health system).
- With its funding secured, Us2.ai will accelerate its commercial and regulatory expansion, with a focus on driving global clinical adoption (US, Europe, and Asia) and developing new alliances (hardware vendors, healthcare providers, researchers, pharma).
Us2.ai joins a crowded echo AI arena, which might have more commercial-stage vendors than all other ultrasound AI segments combined. In fact, the major echo guidance (Caption Health, UltraSight) and echo reporting (DiA Imaging, Ultromics, Us2.ai) AI startups have already generated more than $180M in combined VC funding and forged a number of major hardware and PACS partnerships.
- This influx of echo AI startups might be warranted, given echocardiography’s workforce, efficiency, and variability challenges. It might even prove to be visionary if handheld ultrasounds continue their rapid expansion to new users and settings (including primary and at-home care).
- Us2.ai will have to rely on its reporting advantages to stand out against its well-established competitors, as it is the only vendor to completely automate echo reporting (complete editable/explainable reports in 2 minutes) and analyze every chamber of the heart (vs. just left ventricle with some vendors).
- That said, the incumbent echo AI players have big head starts and the impact of Us2.ai’s automation advantage will rely on ultrasound OEMs’ openness to new alliances and (of course) the rate that providers embrace AI for echo reporting.
Even if many cardiologists and sonographers would have a hard time differentiating the various echo AI solutions, this is a segment that’s showing a high level of product-market fit. That’s more than you can say for most imaging AI segments, and product advancements like Us2.ai’s should improve this alignment. It might even help drive widespread adoption.