xWave plans new funding round to scale AI product after raising €1.3m from investors
The health-tech start-up has submitted an international patent for a new ‘revolutionary’ AI diagnostic tool
xWave, the Dublin health-tech start-up which last week announced €1.3 million of investment, is already planning a fresh, bigger funding round to scale a new artificial intelligence (AI) product which it believes will be “revolutionary” for healthcare globally.
Mitchell O’Gorman, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, told the Business Post that xWave had closed its seed funding round just as new opportunities presented themselves in the AI and machine learning space.
“Our AI partnership is going to be absolutely huge,” O’Gorman said. “So while we’re here announcing the round we’ve just raised, we’re probably going to go out again in the next month or two. The AI piece is going to be revolutionary for healthcare if we’re successful.”
xWave, which is based at NovaUCD, has recently submitted an international patent application in partnership with the university to use AI and machine learning to build out the next generation of diagnostic referral tools.
O’Gorman declined to disclose the amount the company is aiming to raise in its new round, but said it would “certainly be a larger round, even just on the scale of what we’re going to be achieving across multiple countries with the AI technology”.
The developments come after xWave’s oversubscribed seed round, which was led by private investors and also included €250,000 from Enterprise Ireland, which will help fund the ongoing rollout of xRefer.
xRefer, is a smart radiology platform which helps doctors decide the most appropriate scan for their patients’ needs using what the company describes as “market-leading evidence”.
Referrals can be created and sent quickly from anywhere to any hospital or imaging centre, in a process that can eliminate unnecessary radiology scans, cutting down the number of people on waiting lists, delayed diagnoses and adverse outcomes for patients.
The cloud-based platform is available on iOS, Android and the web. The company claims its use in Irish hospitals has reduced average waiting times taken to create, send and have a referral reviewed by a radiologist by more than 99 per cent.
“As an example of how big this is, in the US alone somewhere between $7 million and $12 billion is spent every year on unnecessary radiology testing,” O’Gorman said. “That shows the scale of the problem we’re looking to solve.”
The company is working with the HSE’s digital transformation team on a pilot of xRefer, which is being conducted in partnership with Clanwilliam Health, an Irish company that supplies software to GP practices.
“We need the support of the broader HSE, beyond the digital transformation team, to really adopt this technology and bring it out across the Irish healthcare system,” O’Gorman said.
In Britain, the company is in discussions with a number of trusts to roll out the product there, while it is also exploring expansion in Belgium and Switzerland. Beyond xRefer, the “next step” for the business is the AI product it is aiming to commercialise, according to O’Gorman. He did not expand on the precise details of the tool, but said it would require regulatory approval.
“Everybody says this, that they want to be a billion-euro company,” he said. “But we know we can get there, because we’re solving a really important global problem.”