Israeli startup Zebra Medical Vision raises $12m

Elad Benjamin Photo: Eyal Izhar

The company currently offers algorithms supporting analysis of imaging results for osteoporosis, fatty liver, and emphysema.

Israeli startup Zebra Medical Vision

CEO Elad Benjamin, CTO Eyal Toledano, and chairman Eyal Gura founded Zebra Medical in 2014. Gura founded the company after being in a diving accident. He had to have many injections, because the technician who x-rayed him was unable to analyze the photo correctly. Although Zebra Medical is a young company, it is already fairly well known in the Israeli digital medicine sector, and was selected as one of the "Globes" promising startups for 2015. Its product is in the pilot stage at a number of medical organizations, including Clalit Health Services.

Benjamin said, "Radiology is headed for a personnel crisis for a number of reasons: the increase in population, especially the elderly and ill, increased exposure of the developing countries to radiology services, and the increase in the quantity of information from imaging devices, while the number of radiologists has not changed. We want to help radiologists analyze the images, while saving time, and to free them, so that they can devote their efforts to the more complex cases."

According to Benjamin, hospitals are currently using the system in two ways. One is for supporting radiologists in analyzing an imaging photograph just produced. The second, and more innovative, way is to go over all the existing image databases in the hospital in order to detect patients suffering from a specific condition of which they are unaware. This can potentially contribute to a hospital's profit. "A hospital gets paid more for a diagnosed patient, while it incurs a risk if a patient is not diagnosed, and his disease becomes worse. It is therefore worthwhile to initiate early diagnosis measures."

Sources familiar with the company's business and the biomedical market say that the product could also be relevant for drug companies, which can use it to locate potential customers for their products. "This is a possibility, but we are interested in first marketing the product for a place where the first thought is to benefit the patients, not on the market," Benjamin says.

Every one of the company's algorithms requires approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a process that takes several months. The company's business model is the sale of subscriptions, with the payment dependent on the volume of information transmitted through the software. "The money from this financing round should last us until we make a profit," Benjamin says.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 24, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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Elad Benjamin Photo: Eyal Izhar
Elad Benjamin Photo: Eyal Izhar
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