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Singapore-Based MedTech Start-up Raises Us$ 4 Million in Funding

eko.ai, has raised US$ 4 million to further the development of the automated platform to fight against heart disease.

Founded in August 2017 by James Hare, a serial entrepreneur, investor and co-founder of eDreams; Dr Carolyn Lam, a senior consultant cardiology at the National Heart Centre Singapore and professor at Duke-NUS Medical School; and Dr Yoran Hummel, founder and former general manager of the Groningen Imaging Core Laboratory of the University Medical Centre, Groningen.

Eko.ai has since grown to develop a machine learning platform to automate the current time consuming, manual and error-prone process of measuring and interpreting echocardiograms, or ultrasound images of the heart.

Announced in January 2020, the MedTech start-up has raised US$ 4 million in a funding round co-led by Sequoia India and Singapore government-linked strategic investor EDBI. Partech Ventures, SGInnovate and Startup Health also participated in this round.

“When we first met the founders, we were struck by how passionate they were about putting better tools in the hands of cardiologists and researchers. The combination of Carolyn’s deep domain knowledge, James’ commercial acumen and his experience as a founder is truly unique and compelling,” said Pieter Kemps, Principal, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore. “eko.ai is going after a big market and aims to make a real positive impact on one of the most important areas in healthcare.”

This funding will help the company to develop and accelerate commercial operation in the US and Europe. Other potential applications of the machine learning platform and tools range from the broad us of echocardiography in clinical care to improving the performance of cardiovascular clinical trials. For which eko.ai will be focussing on early detection and prediction of heart disease.

“With this funding, we can further develop our innovative solutions with the ultimate goal of democratizing echocardiography – the safest and most commonly used tool to image the heart,” said Dr Carolyn Lam, co-founder of eko.ai. “Our ultimate goal is to put heart health screening into everyone’s hands. Cardiovascular disease remains the top cause of death for men and women globally and we’re excited to help address this global health issue in a meaningful way.”

James Hare, CEO and co-founder of eko.ai, said “We’re honored to work with such world-renowned partners. The strong momentum behind our collaborations reflects the growing recognition that the combination of machine learning and echocardiography can be a powerful research tool for improved patient phenotyping and hypothesis generation.”

“We look forward to supporting eko.ai as they expand globally and advance the use of AI in healthcare to improve cardiologists’ detection, accuracy and productivity,” said EDBI’s CEO & President, Chu Swee Yeok. “Nurturing innovative home-grown companies in deep tech industries including healthcare remains a cornerstone of our investment priorities and together with like-minded investors, eko.ai will have a booster shot to transform medical diagnostic imaging and delivery of care to cardiovascular patients.”

Currently, eko.ai has ongoing commercial and academic research collaborations with multiple partners including AstraZeneca, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Samsung Medical Center’s Heart, Vascular and Stroke Institute, and the University of Alberta. [APBN]