AI-Powered Image Enhancement Made Faster, Safer, Smarter

James Dargan

Subtle Medical

When you can rely on a team made up of renowned imaging scientists, radiologists and AI experts from the likes of Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, Caltech, Harvard, Berkeley, and Tsinghua University, while having the experience from such corporate giants as GE Healthcare, Samsung and Bain & Company, you know your startup is on its way to breaking new ground in whatever sector it happens to be involved in.

And that’s just the case for Subtle Medical, a medical imaging software company founded in 2017 by Enhao Gong and Greg Zaharchuk, named CB Insights Top AI 100 and Digital Health 150 company in 2020 and an Nvidia Inception Award Winner.

Based in Menlo Park, California, Subtle Medical’s goal is to improve the quality, value and accessibility of medical imaging by significantly reducing cost, imaging time, and radiation dose by using cutting-edge proprietary deep learning AI algorithms to renovate the radiology workflow to deliver faster, safer and smarter solutions for imaging exams, helped — at least to some degree — by the $13.3 million in funding the startup has raised over four rounds since it was founded.

So, how did Subtle Medical get to where it is today in a matter of four short years?

With its AI Solutions for MRI and PET, that’s how the SubtleMR™ and SubtlePET™ products:

• SubtleMR™

Reduces image noise for the entire body, including but not limited to, head, spine, neck, abdomen, pelvis, prostate, breast and musculoskeletal regions of the body, and increases image sharpness for head MRI.

• SubtlePET™

Uses denoising to improve the image quality of low count PET exams conducted in up to 25% of the original scan time.

With these then, there is a rise in workflow efficiency, image quality is improved, patients have a nicer overall experience, and — for those penny pinchers amongst us — scanner life is extended.

Our AI algorithms are built upon proprietary convolutional neural network models and obtained by training on robust paired datasets covering a wide range of clinical indications, patient cohorts, vendors and scanner models.

 — Subtle Medical

The Team

Enhao Gong is the Co-Founder and CEO of Subtle Medical. He is a serial entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. His passion and research focuses on applying AI and deep learning to improve the reconstruction, analysis and quantification of medical imaging. His work has won several awards and has been featured in numerous academic journals and clinical conferences.

Subtle Medical’s other Co-Founder is Greg Zaharchuk, MD/Ph.D. A Professor of Radiology and practicing Neuroradiologist at Stanford University, he is an expert in advanced imaging methods, particularly applied to patients with neurological disease. Zaharchuk has received numerous awards and honours for his research and sits on several boards and advisory committees.

“Our technology not only improves patient experience during procedures, but also allows centers to see more patients through an improved workflow […].”

 — Josh Gurewitz, Chief Commercial Officer, Subtle Medical

Supporting the founding team is a cadre of advisors that range from medical executives, radiologists and academics, as would be expected.

On the investment side, Subtle Medical’s backers include VCs 3E Bioventures, Fusion Fund, Data Collective, Bessemer Venture Partner, Tsingyuan Ventures, Baidu.ventures, Breyer Capital, and others.

Together, a symbiosis has been achieved in improving image acquisition and workflow efficiency, thus creating a scenario where Subtle Medical stands out from other AI companies working on a computer-aided diagnosis.

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