Artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare startup Harrison.ai has raised US$97 million (A$129 million) in a series B to ramp up its global joint venture ambitions in medical diagnostics.
Existing backer Horizons Ventures, the VC firm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, led the round. It was supported byBlackbird Ventures and Skip Capital, with new investors Sonic Healthcare and I-MED Radiology Network, also chipping in. The company previously raised $29 million in 2019 in its first funding round. Earlier investors include Horizons Ventures joining in alongside Skip Capital, the Sydney fund run by investment banker Kim Jackson, and Ramsay Health Care.
The cash is allocated scaling clinical AI applications in global healthcare. The company plans to expand its team of AI data scientists and engineers, while expanding into new areas of healthcare with global clinical partners.
Harrison.ai has also developed a partnership with Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) to co-develop and commercialise new clinical AI solutions in pathology. The joint venture will culminate in new AI applications to improve efficiency and efficacy of pathology diagnosis using
Harrison.ai was founded in 2018 clinician and AI engineer Dr Aengus Tran and his brother Dimitry. Aengus, then aged 24, created the algorithm that used AI to analyse video of IVF embryos to pick which ones were most likely to lead to pregnancy.
The AI was called Ivy and is designed to help clinicians make better, faster decisions for patients.
The medtech startup partnered with I-MED Radiology partnered to form Annalise.ai in early 2020. That JV uses AI to support clinical decision-making for chest x-rays, with the capability to detect around 124 findings. More than 350 radiologists now use it daily. The partnership saw Annalise.ai co-research, develop and commercialise the solution within 18 months.
Dr Tran, Harrison.ai’s CEO, said the new partnership with Sonic Healthcare will help address a global skills shortage in pathology through AI delivering increased capacity of diagnostic care.
“Sonic Healthcare’s deep clinical experience and understanding combined with our proven AI methodologies will create a powerful new way to support clinicians to more effectively and efficiently diagnose patients in pathology,” he said.
“Delivering equitable, effective and accurate healthcare to more people is a critical part of our mission at Harrison.ai, and as we emerge from the pandemic that mission is more important than ever.
“With our model and methodology now proven across multiple clinical areas, we are in a position to expand to new clinical areas and deliver on our mission with the support of our investors and partners.”
Sonic Healthcare CEO Dr Colin Goldschmidt said the joint venture was an exciting moment for the company.
“Harrison.ai is a smart, agile, and medically led company with a proven track record in the healthcare AI space,” he said.
“The partnership with Sonic and our deep healthcare experience and global reach represents a synergistic union and a powerful force in healthcare AI.”
Chris Liu from Horizons Ventures, said Harrison.ai brought a distinct approach to AI healthcare that enables them to commercialise solutions at record pace with its partners.
“We look forward to working closely with the team and our partners to help augment the capacity of healthcare systems globally,” he said.