Healthtech startup RedBrick AI has raised $4.6 million in a funding round led by Sequoia India and Southeast Asia’s Surge as it plans to expand the market for its medical image annotation solution.
Artificial intelligence has become ubiquitous in clinical diagnosis. But researchers spend much of their initial time preparing data for training AI systems. The training process also requires hundreds of annotated medical images and thousands of hours of clinician annotations. The Delaware-based SaaS startup, which has an Indian subsidiary in Pune, solves that problem with its automated and semi-automated annotation tools.
RedBrick AI co-founder and CEO Shivam Sharma said the startup helps make annotations up to 60% faster using its configurable workflow system that works with medical images such as CT scans, X-rays, MRIs and ultrasound.
“We see ourselves building the foundation layer of artificial intelligence in healthcare. Going forward, we want to help teams with everything from data preparation to FDA approval of the algorithms,” Sharma said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Founded in 2021 by former SpaceX Hyperloop engineers Sharma and Derek Lukacs (who serves as CTO), RedBrick AI provides specialized annotation tools that are accessible through a web browser and integrate with customers’ existing data storage systems such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Azure. It also has semi-automatic tools for annotating complex medical 3D images.
In addition, RedBrick AI provides APIs that machine learning engineers can integrate with their cloud solutions and clinical data storage, including PACS servers for hospitals.
“Clinicians just need to log into their browser and the workflow aspect of it is all automated,” said Sharma.
Once properly annotated, images can be used for faster and more detailed diagnosis. The annotated images can also be used by surgical robots and to automate cancer detection.
RedBrick AI has a seven-person team primarily based in India, though the startup mainly focuses on the US and Europe for marketing its tools. The startup also sees that 99% of its competition comes from open-source tools, followed by the in-house tools developed by companies to meet their specific requirements.
RedBrick AI’s early customer base includes German biotech startup Orbem, Canadian cancer and disease screening platform Prenuvo, Boston-based nonprofit hospital and physician network Mass General Brigham, and Maharashtra’s radiology AI platform Deeptek.
Y Combinator and angel investors also participated in the all-stock launch round. Prior to this round, the startup was named in Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 cohort, which was dominated by 32 Indian startups.
Sharma said RedBrick AI plans to use the fund to expand beyond its current customer base and reach out to enterprises. It also plans to hire new engineers to expand its specialized toolset.