Optum, VC firms invest $33M in AI company IDx

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IDx, a developer of artificial intelligence-based diagnostic tools, secured $33 million in its most recent financing round.

The FDA's approval of the company's IDx-DR software, which uses AI to detect diabetic retinopathy, in April marked the first medical device the FDA has authorized to provide a screening decision without requiring a specialist to interpret the results.

The $33 million financing was led by venture capital firm 8VC with participation from Optum's venture arm Optum Ventures, venture capital firm Alpha Edison and Northridge, Calif.-based Heritage Provider Network. Prior to this financing round, IDx had been funded by a group of private angel investors.

"The healthcare industry needs to accelerate its adoption of AI to reduce costs and drive efficiencies," Sarah London, senior principal at Optum Ventures, said in a news release. "We are confident that IDx will transform healthcare by increasing patient access to early disease detection, which is why we look forward to helping build a bridge between IDx and the physicians and patients who would benefit from adopting this system."

Stefan D. Abrams, vice chairman at IDx, added: "We received numerous requests from the investment community to participate in this financing round. We carefully selected our co-investors because of the strategic value they provide to the company."

IDx plans to accelerate market adoption of IDx-DR and develop additional diagnostic systems for its AI platform — such as those tackling the detection of glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease and stroke risk — with the new funding.

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