Apr. 14—"Turning data into wisdom" is the goal of two new complementary digital health care companies launched by Mayo Clinic and partners, with an investment of more than $30 million.
Mayo Clinic recently announced the creation of Anumana Inc. and Lucem Health Inc., which are working with artificial intelligence and medical algorithms that tap into Mayo Clinic's accumulated medical knowledge based on its patient records. These projects are in the same vein as Mayo Clinic's joint venture with Google.
The end result is to make "software as medical devices" or digital tools that medical providers around the world can use to provide better treatments for patients, Mayo Clinic Platform President Dr. John Halamka said Monday.
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Describing a moment in history when "technology, policy and culture align" to spur innovation, Halamka said the two young companies are creating digital diagnostic and clinical "tools" built on the foundation of Mayo Clinic's history and experience.
Mayo Clinic formed Anumana with the health technology company nference to develop and commercialize AI-enabled algorithms for early detection of medical problems. The neural network algorithms will initially focus on using Mayo Clinic patient cardiac data, including raw electrocardiogram (ECG) signals, to make digital tools to detect heart disease and accelerate treatment.
Dr. Paul Friedman, chair of Mayo Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, told a group of health care reporters that the traditional method of treating cardiac problems, like weak heart pumps or silent arrhythmias, is to react to a medical event they cause. Unfortunately, the first notification of those conditions can be fatal events like heart failure or stroke.
"It's very important to identify ... before a bad thing happens," he said. "The addition of AI to the ECG, a ubiquitous and inexpensive point-of-care test that is already integrated into medical workflows, makes this approach good for patients, convenient for clinicians, and massively scalable."
Anumana is comprised of a team of about 20 employees based in Rochester, Massachusetts and elsewhere.
The young company recently completed $25.7 million in Series A financing led by founders Mayo Clinic and nference, along with Matrix Capital Management, Matrix Partners, and NTTVC. That investment is funding the development and commercialization of "AI-enabled ECG and multimodal algorithms" for clinical care.
Just as a new medical device used in an emergency room or doctor's office, these algorithms need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they can be marketed to physicians and health care centers.
"The goal is to get approval this year," said Anumana Chief Business Officer David McMullin.
Lucem Health, formed by Mayo Clinic and San Francisco-based Commure, is working on a way to connect patient monitoring devices with algorithms, like those created by Anumana, to bring diagnostic and clinical insights directly into the day-to-day workflow of doctors and nurses.
Lucem is building the delivery method to get the information from the new digital tools to people treating patients.
"The idea is to connect these devices with these powerful algorithms and deliver the insights, to deliver the signals that we separate from the noises to the right place at the right time in the right context," said Lucem Health CEO Sean Cassidy.
Lucem recently completed $6 million in Series A financing led by founders Mayo Clinic and Commure.