Startup Spotlight: EnsoData’s AI diagnosis solution
Wisconsin-based EnsoData is a startup utilising artificial intelligence for the diagnosis of health conditions.
The company’s technology transforms waveform data points, commonly used in healthcare, into human-readable reports for clinicians, identifying patterns and events to aid in clinical diagnosis.
Waveform data is ubiquitous in healthcare situations, generated by such things as heartbeats through an EKG or brain waves through an EEG. The company said that over 1.5 billion waveforms were run per year, a volume EnsoData is focused on making more digestible.
Since its foundation in 2015, the company has raised over $11mn. Its latest Series A round, announced on 10 June, netted the company $9mn from lead investors Zetta Venture Partners and Venture Investors. Also participating were SleepScore ventures, Necessary Ventures and Dreamit Ventures.
The company said it would use the funding to, among other aims, grow its team and launch new AI products for sleep and neurology. Sleep is the company’s initial focus, with its flagship EnsoSleep product intended for use by sleep technicians to diagnose conditions such as sleep apnea.
"Sleep apnea is a condition that plagues nearly one billion people worldwide, and we're uniquely positioned to address this massive problem," said Chris Fernandez, CEO of EnsoData in a press release. "We know that not everyone has access to quality and affordable treatment, and have the conviction that our technology can help bridge that gap. Automating waveform data analysis saves clinicians significant time, and labs and healthcare systems significant money, so they can focus on what really matters -- the patients and what's literally keeping them up at night."
"We believe that EnsoData will be a game-changer for the way we diagnose and treat patients," said Mark Gorenberg, Managing Director at Zetta Venture Partners. "Sleep is just the beginning. Waveform AI may be the lowest cost, most scalable, and most widely available tool for diagnosing patients. It will seriously advance our understanding of health and the human body."
Microsoft launches Tech for Social Impact for elderly care
Microsoft Tech for Social Impact, the tech giant's division offering tools for non profit organisations, has announced it is expanding to include aged care non profits around the world.
This means that non profit organisations helping elderly residents in nursing homes or with other daily support will now be eligible for technology grants and discounts of up to 75%, as well as training and capacity building to help with digital transformation.
The care home sector has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for some of the most vulnerable people in society. As a result organisations around the world have been deploying innovative technologies, such as IoT to create monitoring solutions that enable independent living, through to AI-driven robots that provide companionship as well as alert the user's care team if there are any changes to their symptoms.
The German Red Cross (DRK) is an early adopter that is already benefitting from this programme expansion as part of Microsoft Tech for Social's pilot scheme. DRK provides services and assistance to over 40,000 people at more than 500 aged care facilities in Germany, with a further 90,000 receiving care in their own homes.
Thanks to Microsoft 365 cloud technologies such as SharePoint and OneDrive, along with Teams for communication, DRK was able to continue its daily work even at the height of the pandemic crisis. Residents of DRK facilities used Teams to keep in touch with relatives despite restrictions to visits, and there are plans to continue using these channels in the future to prevent isolation among residents.
Following the pilot’s success, the programme will offer discounts and grants to eligible organisations for its Microsoft cloud stack including Business Applications, Azure and Modern Work, leveraging the firm's sector-specific tools with Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit which will be generally available in the second half of 2021.
Microsoft estimate that around 75,000 new non profit organisations around the world will be eligible for the programme.