EnsoData, a Madison, Wisconsin-based startup that is using artificial intelligence to analyze the human body to diagnose health conditions, today announced the close of $9 million in funding.
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Zetta Venture Partners and Venture Investors co-led the Series A, which brings EnsoData’s total raised since its 2015 inception to $11.1 million, according to Crunchbase data. SleepScore Ventures, Dreamit Ventures, Necessary Ventures, and some existing backers also participated in the latest round.
The company’s trio of co-founders met nearly a decade ago while attending the University of Wisconsin where CEO Chris Fernandez told me they “fell in love with the confluence of AI, massive data sets and working with bright clinicians to support problems in health care.”
Over the years, they have developed technology they claim simplifies the process of analyzing the human body to accurately diagnose health conditions. EnsoData uses AI to analyze millions of data points collected from sensors on the human body (think heartbeats on an EKG or eye movements through an EOG) that output as waveform data. It then uses that information to deliver diagnoses via “an easy-to-read printout.”
In a nutshell, the company automates sleep data analysis using machine learning.
The startup claims its AI technology replaces a workflow that today requires thousands of hours from clinicians to manually mark dozens of complex events on reams of complex data by hand. Its AI analysis, by contrast, allows clinicians to perform the same tasks in minutes.
EnsoData is starting with diagnosing sleep apnea and other sleep disorders but plans to ultimately expand to other neurological conditions.
In fact, the company says it has developed “the first artificial intelligence technology cleared to aid clinicians in sleep disorder diagnosis.” Over time, it has amassed a database of more than 400,000 users and analyzed more than 350 terabytes of data, which it says is 50 times larger than any public dataset.
After receiving Food and Drug Administration clearance in 2017, EnsoData has primarily sold its software service to more than 300 sleep clinics in the United States. It recently launched in Latin America.
The company has seen impressive growth as of late. In both 2019 and 2018, EnsoData quadrupled the size of its customer base, according to Fernandez. Since inception, it has seen 100 percent customer retention, he said.
EnsoData plans to use its new capital in part to continue to “aggressively” hire to build out its engineering and sales teams. It has about 15 employees today. It also plans to launch new AI products in sleep and neurology and expand partnerships with sleep clinics, enterprise health systems, academic medical centers, home sleep testing providers, and integrated diagnostic testing facilities.
“This is a story about patient access to care,” Fernandez told Crunchbase News. “We are democratizing information about health and sleep for clinicians and patients, so that we can all play a more active role in understanding and managing our own health. We’re using AI to further humanize health care, rather than taking it away with technology.”
Mark Gorenberg, managing director at Zetta Venture Partners, described EnsoData as “the early mover to the market.”
“We spend a third of our lives asleep, yet the majority of disorders that disrupt it go undetected–a problem of this scale translates to an enormous opportunity for the company,” he said. “EnsoData has resonated with the entire industry. We think they have the opportunity to set the gold standard in sleep disorder diagnosis.”
Scott Button, managing director of Venture Investors, said he first met EnsoData’s co-founders when they were students at the University of Wisconsin.
“Since that moment, I have been impressed with their unbridled passion, infectious enthusiasm, and desire to improve patient care using medical waveform artificial intelligence,” he said. “Not only can they help diagnose sleep apnea in the 16 million Americans who are undiagnosed, their platform will improve treatments for the 6 million who are diagnosed. The potential global impact is astounding.”
Moving forward, Button believes what EnsoData is doing has “much broader applicability” than just sleep apnea.
“Their platform and algorithms can be applied to all medical waveform analysis including EEG and critical care management,” he said. “It will allow doctors to spend more time caring for patients and less time interpreting medical waveforms.”