Report: 2018 investments in AI imaging startups more than double previous year's

In 2018, capital investments in startup companies developing medical imaging AI solutions reached almost $580 million—more than double the 2017 amount of $270 million, according to a new market report published Jan. 31 by Signify Research.  

Of the 2018 total, HeartFlow—the Silicon Valley startup founded in 2007, known for its noninvasive AI analysis software that creates 3D models of coronary arteries from CT scans—accounted for $240 million.  

Currently, more than 120 startups are developing AI solutions for medical imaging, according to the report. Since 2014, these companies have accumulated more than $1.2 billion in investments.  

Of the 10 most-funded companies in 2018, five were from the U.S., four were from Asia and one was European. However, 2018 saw 10 new AI companies enter the market, a significant decline since its 2016 peak of 26 companies.

“This nascent market is becoming increasingly crowded and the need to differentiate is paramount,” Simon Harris, principal analyst at Signify Research, wrote in the report. “In 2018, investors started to focus more on midand later-stage deals, suggesting that the sector is maturing, although the number of early-stage deals.”  

Of the 84 companies who disclosed funding in the period spanning 2014 to 2018, the average funding per company was $14.4 million ($9.2 million excluding HeartFlow), according to the report.  

See Signify Research’s full report here.