Redwood City, California-based Exo, a pioneering health information and devices company, announced Aug. 20 that it closed a $40 million Series B-plus funding round.
The company, co-founded by Sandeep Akkaraju who serves as its chief executive officer, said the money will fund research and product development on a revolutionary handheld medical device and cloud-based workflow software platform.
Medical imaging technology has lagged far behind the needs of today’s emergency room physicians and the expectations of healthcare patients.
Cost, portability, image quality, software constraints and the inability to image denser body compositions have all limited the dramatic impact that critical diagnostic tools like ultrasound can have on global health and patient care, a news release noted.
Exo, pronounced “echo,” is developing a handheld ultrasound device that is intended to solve these common imaging challenges and unlock the true potential of handheld ultrasound.
By building on patented Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer technology, the Exo device aims to deliver industry-leading image quality, intuitive software and powerful diagnostic capabilities, the release said.
This technology is designed to be affordable and enable best-in-class medical imaging to be carried in the pocket of every caregiver and clinician worldwide, it added.
The worldwide point of care ultrasound market is forecast to reach $1.5 billion in 2024 and grow at 9.5 percent annually, according to industry analyst Klein Biomedical Consultants. Handheld ultrasound is forecast to lead the industry’s growth.
“Emergency room physicians around the world are often tasked with solving some of the most urgent healthcare problems — COVID-19 diagnosis and complications, cardiac emergencies, internal bleeding — without being able to see clearly into a patient they only have minutes to diagnose and treat,” Akkaraju said in a statement.
“Exo plans to give these critical frontline heroes the device they need — one that immediately opens up a window into every body and enables them to make speedy, accurate and often life-saving medical decisions on the spot,” the CEO added.
Exo will use its funding to bring its data and workflow apps to market and finish product development on its handheld ultrasound device. The funding round follows a successful Series B round in August 2019 which raised $35 million, bringing the company’s total funding to nearly $100 million.
The latest funding was important, especially during a Coronavirus pandemic that has overloaded hospital resources and created an urgent need for innovative imaging technology to be more widely accessible by frontline workers, according to the release.
Fiscus Ventures and Reimagined Ventures and Action Potential Venture Capital led the investment, with additional participation from TDK Ventures, Solasta Ventures and all previous investors, including Intel Capital and Applied Ventures.
Exo will pair its handheld ultrasound device with workflow apps in an effort to solve chronic issues within hospitals and clinics.
Software has long been a pain point for physicians in busy emergency rooms, where the lack of interoperability and cumbersome documentation slows down patient care and distracts physicians from critical medical emergencies.
Beyond its software and medical device launch, Exo has even more ambitious plans to create a platform for medical technology convergence — where a variety of diagnostics and therapeutics can all be administered through a multi-functional device.