Artificial Intelligence, Startups

This Israeli startup leverages AI to help pathologists handle their workload

Avi Veidman was prompted to create the Tel Aviv-based company, Nucleai, after witnessing his father anxiously wait about 30 days to receive his biopsy results.

Avi Veidman spent a good portion of his career in the Israeli intelligence forces, where he worked on big data and AI. After he retired, he knew he wanted to build a startup. While he was interested in healthcare and agriculture, he didn’t have a specific idea for a company.

Around that same time, his father underwent a biopsy to detect prostate cancer. Though the results were negative, Veidman’s father had to anxiously wait about 30 days to receive an answer. Veidman said 30 days is the usual wait time for results in Israel.

After witnessing his father go through this, he met with pathologists to learn about their work and the importance of pattern recognition. Veidman also realized that there’s a shortage of pathologists and that they’re human beings who make mistakes.

With all these thoughts in mind, he decided to bring technology to the problem, and his startup, Nucleai, was born.

While Veidman serves as CEO, the Tel Aviv-based company also includes clinicians. Pathologists work with Nucleai part-time and full-time, and Dr. Jared Schwarz, the former president of the College of American Pathologists, is an advisor.

In a phone interview, Veidman described Nucleai as “a company that works with pathologists and for pathologists.” He further explained that the startup’s AI-based system can be utilized in a few ways. One is by having it do a quality assurance check. For instance, a pathologist may analyze slides, create a report and run Nucleai’s algorithms to find any mistakes.

Another way to use the solution is in the form of a “digital resident,” Veidman said. He likened it to how a medical resident writes a report and then a senior pathologist reviews it. Essentially, Nucleai’s tool creates an initial report and then a pathologist can review it to ensure accuracy.

The Israeli company’s tool can be applied to GI, breast and prostate biopsies. The startup, which was founded in 2017 and has raised $5 million in funding, has customers in Israel, the U.S. and Europe.

When asked about Nucleai’s future plans, Veidman pointed to bringing the company’s capabilities to more labs and organizations in the U.S. and Europe. The goal is to create a greater footprint and have more traction in the market. Additionally, he noted that the Tel Aviv startup is on the way to signing strategic partnerships with various companies.

Picture: wigglestick, Getty Images