UCI Applied Innovation startup company Docbot recently received $2.045 million in seed funding from investors Khosla, Lightbridge Ventures, BOLD Capital Partners Collaborative Fund, Fenox Venture Capital as well as three angel investors. The startup received the funds shortly after their exit from top-ranking American seed funding accelerator Y Combinator in March.
Docbot is a healthcare software that captures advanced patient data during care. The startup uses an artificial intelligence-enabled platform to identify colon polyps in real time.
In addition to their recent National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation R (SBIR) phase 1 grant of $225,000, the considerable funds will also support several clinical trials, mainly focused on polyp detection. Over the next six months, their recent SBIR grant will help fund a clinical trial focused on Barrett’s Esophagus, a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
“We are still heavily focused on R&D, a lot of that is getting through regulatory process,” said Andrew Ninh, CEO of Docbot. “We are also looking into international, European regulatory processes and are expanding the indication for use. So instead of focusing on colon polyps, now we also aim to determine the polyp pathology and Barrett’s Esophagus.”
Docbot’s technology also has the potential to save the healthcare industry about $1 billion a year in healthcare expenses. Their software integrates IT systems to make billing and documentation more efficient, tracks withdrawal time and intubation rate – which is an important indicator of colonoscopy quality – and examines bowel prep and adenoma detection rate.
“Docbot has made incredible progress using sweat equity alone, having generated multiple real-time AI-based algorithms with high accuracy that facilitate doctors to achieve high performance relevant to colon cancer prevention, early detection of esophageal cancer, and reduced ‘time-to-find’ abnormalities of the intestine,” said William Karnes, MD, chief medical officer at Docbot. “Our investors’ support now opens the door to multicenter clinical validation studies, FDA clearances and partnerships with OEMs. We now face opportunity to dominate the marketplace for all medical procedures that can benefit from real-time AI assistance.”
The team has already incorporated the detection technology into approximately 6,000 procedures.
“The three top cancer killers in the world are in this order: lung, stomach and colon, with stomach and colon tied for two and three,” said Ninh. “These are very common and can be prevented by regular screening. With our AI, we can eliminate number two and three.”
Find out more information on Docbot.