Oxford based Ultromics raises $33M to power AI diagnostics


Ultromics, a leader in AI enabled cardiovascular imaging solutions, has raised $33 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by the Blue Venture Fund with participation from Optum Ventures, GV, and existing investor Oxford Sciences Innovation.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in the world, with an estimated 17 million deaths each year. Ultromics will use the new funding to help accelerate the use of AI-enabled echocardiograms to help improve patient care, and bring improved diagnostic quality and resource savings to hospitals.

Ultromics has been working with the NHS since 2017 to train, pilot and validate EchoGo, across 30 NHS sites in one of the largest echo studies of its kind.

In 2020, Ultromics received a £2.7 million grant from NHSX to fast-track EchoGo into Trusts and make it commercially available. The goal is to introduce doctors to the benefits of cloud and ease time and resource burden, whilst ensuring accuracy and eliminating variability, one of the main issues with echo diagnosis.

Dr Ross Upton, CEO and co-founder of Ultromics, which is based on Oxford Business Park, said: “Echocardiograms uploaded to the cloud and analysed by artificial intelligence are set to revolutionise cardiac disease treatment pathways by helping more people understand their risk of heart disease earlier and with greater accuracy,” “This funding with leading US-affiliated venture capital funds will allow Ultromics to dramatically accelerate the use of AI-enhanced Echo into studies that currently use more expensive and less accurate imaging techniques.”

Founded in 2017, Ultromics’ EchoGo Core and EchoGo Pro platforms quickly deliver highly accurate assessments of heart function that support the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, heart failure and amyloidosis. Both were spun out of the University of Oxford and built-in partnership with the NHS. Oxford Sciences Innovation, the organisation that helps scientific breakthroughs become world-changing businesses, helped get Ultromics’ business off the ground, and doubled down on its support of Ultromics during the Series B funding round.

EchoGo Core and EchoGo Pro are already being used and validated by several organizations, including Mayo Clinic and the Oregon Health and Science University. EchoGo Core was recently featured in groundbreaking research that showed Ultromics’ AI-generated echocardiography analysis could provide meaningful predictors of health outcomes, where manual analysis did not.

Blue Venture Fund – a unique collaboration among Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) companies, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, (a federation of 35 separate United States health insurance companies that provide health insurance in the United States to more than 106 million people), and Sandbox – to which 35 BCBS companies have committed more than $890 million across four funds, led the Series B round to help accelerate adoption of AI-enabled echocardiograms and address impact of cardiovascular disease on Americans.

Dr. Emir Sandhu, Managing Director at the Blue Venture Fund, said: “Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, and Ultromics offers groundbreaking AI solutions for more accurate diagnosis. We are excited to partner with Dr Ross Upton and the Ultromics’ team, as they promote improved patient outcomes.”

Dr Vijay Barathan, Optum Ventures, added: “Ultromics’ software significantly improves the ability of clinicians to leverage low-cost ultrasound imaging to address cardiovascular disease, one of the greatest healthcare burdens of our generation. We are thrilled to be supporting the Ultromics team in their mission to improve patient lives through AI enabled cardiovascular imaging solutions.”

Dr Upton said: “Echocardiography is the most accessible, lowest cost, least-invasive, safest and most convenient means of imaging the heart.

With Ultromics’ AI, we have proven that it can now be as accurate and effective as more expensive modalities that are not available to all patients. This trio of investors presents Ultromics with a unique opportunity to substantially scale our technology globally, so that more people can get the care they need and deserve earlier.

“This Series B funding round will propel our company forward to a place that transforms disease pathways and saves more lives.”