Health Tech

RapidAI Rakes In $75M to Accelerate Stroke Diagnosis

RapidAI recently closed a $75 million Series C funding round led by Vista Credit Partners. The company offers an AI platform that helps hospital care teams triage and treat stroke patients more quickly.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death globally. About 137,000 people in the U.S. die each year because of stroke — this has created a high demand for technology that facilitates swift and accurate triaging of this critical condition. 

This high demand is evidenced by the $75 million Series C funding round that RapidAI announced on Thursday. The round was led by Vista Credit Partners

RapidAI was founded in 2012 and is based in San Mateo, California. Prior to this Series C financing, the company had raised less than $30 million, CEO Karim Karti said in a recent interview.

The company’s software seeks to help hospitals manage their high imaging volumes, he explained.

“The volume of imaging and the demands on radiologists in hospitals are significant. As a result, information is often siloed from specialists and the providing care team. Furthermore, the coordination of vascular and neurointerventional care can be a real game of telephone with manual analysis and communication, resulting in elapsed time,” Karti declared.

Many vascular and neurovascular diseases need to be treated immediately. For a stroke patient as an example, a few minutes can be the difference between returning home relatively unscathed, losing speech or dying, Karti pointed out. RapidAI’s technology was designed to address this problem by facilitating fast and accurate disease diagnoses from imaging, he said.

“Our technology helps care teams securely share the information to more effectively coordinate care within teams and across specialties. Our approach can save hospitals 20-60 minutes on average from diagnosis to treatment for acute situations — sometimes days or weeks for non-emergent conditions — which is a huge difference-maker for the patient and the hospital,” Karti declared.

As soon as a patient gets scanned, RapidAI’s algorithms quickly analyze the images, identify patterns and develop context. The software then sends data maps and images to apps that physicians and care teams can easily access.

For example, a neurosurgeon would be notified directly if a patient’s scan showed a suspected aneurysm or stroke. Regardless of where the surgeon is, they can look at the images and RapidAI’s analysis to triage and treat the patient. Karti called this the first step.

“The second step is that through our technology, that physician can also activate their entire care team to move the patient to the cath lab and through the patient workflow. To compare it to sports, just as technology has enabled Formula One pit stops to only a few seconds, that is what our platform is doing for vascular, cardiac and neurovascular care,” he explained.

Enabling physicians and care teams to align more quickly and coordinate care across a health system not only helps them make decisions faster, but it also gets the patient where they need to be faster, Karti pointed out. This can ultimately boost efficiency, improve patient outcomes and reduce costs, he added.

RapidAI sells its platform to hospitals using a standard annual subscription model. The platform has been deployed in more than 2,200 hospitals in over 100 countries, Karti declared.

While he acknowledged that the healthcare AI space is becoming a crowded one, Karti said RapidAI’s software stands out due to its clinical depth and validation.

“Most AI companies only do triage or risk assessment — flagging potential disease. We don’t just send notifications, we provide meaningful clinical context and analysis of patient imaging so that care teams can localize, characterize and quantify the disease they are treating, supporting clinical decision-making beyond just the triage of the patient,” he explained.

Karti added that RapidAI’s technology has been studied in more than 320 peer-reviewed publications and leveraged in more than 25 clinical trials.

“There are many health technologies in our space and others that have good intentions, but ultimately only provide a shallow level of information where the physician must still dig deep to see what’s going on. For example, neither and Aidoc provide the same clinical depth and imaging analysis that we do, have product portfolios of our size, nor have the same level of marketing and size of install base,” he said.

In addition to its AI product for stroke patients, RapidAI also offers FDA-cleared software to help care teams manage cerebral aneurysm and central pulmonary embolism. The company aims to keep expanding its impact across additional diseases in the future, Karti declared.

Photo: Flickr user SciTechTrend