In 2014, Dr. Jaishree Naidoo was supervising pediatric radiology at a hospital in South Africa when she had a sudden realization after seeing a report about using Artificial Intelligence advances to distinguish animals.
Having been a radiologist for two decades, Naidoo had a strong understanding of pattern recognition and quickly realized how AI could revolutionize diagnostics in her field. This inspired her, alongside her husband Terence Naidu and Andrei Migatchev, to create Envisionit Deep AI: a healthtech organization which incorporates AI to ease the need for diagnostic imaging.
Envisionit Deep AI has recently been given a $1.65 million investment from New GX Ventures SA, which is a collaboration between New GX Capital, RMB Ventures, and GIIG Africa. This came after the business became the leading Southern African company at the African Startup Awards.
Naidoo, who is both the CEO and leader of the company, expressed his enthusiasm in meeting the goal of marrying cutting-edge tech such as AI with radiology, and in so doing, revolutionize the how radiologists go about looking at imaging, deciphering it and reaching diagnoses.
A combination approach, or a hybrid solution.
This venture has a variety of items that it intends to expand past South Africa, for example, the Radify AI framework, which they assert guarantees fast, precise, excellent and reasonable medicinal imaging analysis, components that are key in early analysis and treatment of sickness.
Naidoo pointed out that Radify AI has already received clearance from the South African Health Products Regulatory Association, but they are now hoping to expand their reach to other countries, thus the reason they are actively pursuing approval from the FDA and European Medical Agency.
Naidoo states that Envisionit Deep AI has the aim of decreasing the pressures of the medical field, particularly in Africa, where there is very minimal financial input and personnel.
Analysis demonstrates the doctor-patient dividing in sub-Saharan Africa is exceptionally low by worldwide measures, while the divide between radiologists and people is more prominent. For instance, Kenya has one radiologist for every 389,255 individuals, and Nigeria has one radiologist for each 566,000 individuals.
The shortage of radiologists is what is leading Naidoo to make Radify AI attainable to everyone, with a special focus on peri-urban and rural areas, and this spurred the company to develop a combined solution.
She stated that Radify AI can be utilised in any situation, “whether in a developed country or in a rural medical facility that may not have the highest bandwidth or the best facilities… because the main intention of our product is to make diagnostic imaging available to everyone, and we won’t be achieving this if we are not able to provide solutions to rural avenues”.
The product offered by the startup can be used in conjunction with equipment like X-ray machines to furnish patients with diagnosis and treatment at the place of service. Additionally, they provide tele-radiology support for those who need radiography assessments.
Naidoo mentioned that normally a radiographer takes X-rays and the patient would have to wait sometimes months to get the results. This delay can result in diseases getting progressively worse. The goal is to remove this wait, so when a diagnosis is made, it can be treated immediately. Additionally, they plan to introduce their solutions to South Africa’s mining sector, which contains a higher probability of the occurrence of tuberculosis.
The enterprise began by generating simulations for analyzing chest X-rays, which had the aptitude to recognize 25 diverse diseases, comprising tuberculosis, breast cancer, and pneumonia, the major cause of death for youngsters less than five years old in Africa.
According to Naidoo, the Envisionit Deep AI platform was particularly advantageous throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, since it offered a software that could identify Covid pneumonia from X-ray scans in under 25 milliseconds. This program was implemented at a big 700-bed hospital in Northern Cape, South Africa, which only had one radiologist. Furthermore, it was utilized in several intensive care units in order to prioritize certain cases that arose during the second peak of the pandemic.
The company that just began states that although the quantity of data being handled is important, they make certain that the models are trained utilizing superior de-identified data that is gathered from a variety of sources around the world and from different ethnic backgrounds.
Radiologists can inspect the data using a validation tool that ensures that the product functions properly; they also offer input and advice which helps the startup refine the accuracy of its models.
Envisionit Deep AI recently unveiled an educational technology resource designed for medical professionals wishing to obtain radiology abilities.