Berlin’s DeepSpin raises seed funding for its ‘portable, ultra-low-cost’ MRI system – TechCrunch

DeepSpin, a Berlin-based startup that’s growing what it describes as a “next-generation, AI-powered MRI imaging machine”, has raised €600,000 in seed funding.

Backing the spherical is APEX Digital Health, with participation from present buyers Entrepreneur First (EF) and SOSV, together with plenty of unnamed angel buyers. Including grants and earlier funding, it brings the overall raised to €1 million pre-launch.

DeepSpin is a graduate of EF’s firm builder programme, the place its two founders — Clemens Tepel, a former McKinsey advisor, and Pedro Freire Silva, a PhD researcher from KIT — determined to companion in September 2019. Freire Silva drew on his analysis into small-scale, mass-manufacturable MRI techniques and pitched the concept to his future co-founder.

“From the beginning I found the idea very intriguing and so we directly jumped into attempting to prove its feasibility,” says Tepel. “Within 4 weeks we were able to prove it in simulation, get industry-leading advisors on board and get first LOIs [letter of intent] from interested clinicians”.

Yet-to-launch and nonetheless within the improvement part, DeepSpin goals to construct a brand new sort of MRI system at a “fraction of the cost, weight and size” of present techniques. To make this doable, the startup is has developed a brand new antenna know-how mixed with AI-controlled operation, which the startup is at present patenting.

“The problem we are solving is that MRI, the most advanced medical imaging method, is currently not easily accessible because it is incredibly expensive, requires specialised operators and needs specifically shielded rooms,” explains Tepel. “We are removing all of these constraints based on our proprietary technology, making MRI universally accessible for any patient, anywhere in the world”.

Adds Freire Silva: “Instead of combining highly expensive hardware with standard software, as it is done on conventional MRI scanners, we will be able to obtain the same clinical information by applying very sophisticated algorithms on simplified hardware, thereby reducing our system’s cost by orders of magnitude”.

Tepel tells me this strategy has not been taken earlier than as a result of each key enablers — extremely succesful AI-algorithms and the precise antenna design – have been solely obtainable very just lately.

Having confirmed DeepSpin’s strategies in simulation, the following step and the crew’s present focus is to develop a primary absolutely AI-driven prototype. “Based on that, we will develop an initial product version, aimed at pre-clinical applications, before going into medical certification, which then will allow us to sell our product for clinical use across a range of medical domains and to new geographies that can’t afford conventional systems,” says Tepel.


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