It’s amazing how much data can be collected about the human body — but disappointing how difficult it can be to process all of that raw information to find the medical breakthroughs hidden within. Owkin, a healthtech firm based in New York City and Paris, aims to change this — and it just raised $11 million in funding.
On Tuesday of this week, the two-year-old startup officially closed its Series A round, bringing its total funding to $13.1 million. Otium Capital led the round, with contributions also coming from Plug and Play, Cathay Innovation and NJF Capital.
“Owkin’s comprehensive platform improves healthcare delivery by building algorithms that enable researchers and clinicians to analyze vast patient datasets and predict treatment outcomes in real time,” said Bruno Raillard, a partner at Otium Capital who will be joining the Owkin Board of Directors as part of the deal, in a statement.
He continued: “We firmly believe that Owkin is poised to transform how the healthcare community empowers its technology [...] to generate critical insights that will serve as a foundation for discovering and developing the therapies of tomorrow.”
Owkin is poised to transform how the healthcare community empowers its technology [...] to generate critical insights."
Owkin uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to process medical data and thus aid in the development of new drugs and medical technologies that, if left to traditional analysis methods, would be tens of years down the line. Since securing its $2.1 million seed round in late 2016, Owkin has been establishing its proof of concept and fine-tuning its flagship product, known as “Socrates.”
Socrates analyzes patient data as well as molecular imaging research to draw conclusions about disease-causing patterns. Notably, Socrates makes use of transfer learning, a form of AI in which software is capable of building on what it has already learned, allowing the software to keep itself on the cutting edge.
The company issued a statement on Tuesday noting that much of the Series A funding will go toward the expansion and upkeep of Socrates. Presently, Owkin has partnerships with several hospitals and medical research centers in France.
“I am proud of the substantial progress Owkin has made over the last year, including building trust with our pharmaceutical and hospital partners,” said co-founder and CEO Thomas Clozel in the statement. “We have created the right technology that is respectful of a patient’s data privacy while also allowing every user to safely transform any dataset into a unique discovery.”