Lifetrack Medical Systems, a healthtech startup focusing on improving affordable access to medical imaging services in emerging markets, has raised $5.2 million to scale its international growth and build on its award-winning LifeSys™ medical imaging platform.
The LifeSys™ platform enables rapid transmission, aggregation, and access of medical images from multiple sites, even in remote rural areas, using off-the-shelf consumer hardware and consumer DSL or 4G. Traditional radiology software (RIS/PACS) requires expensive server hardware, workstations, and high-speed bandwidth, constraining access to diagnostic imaging in less developed countries.
The limitations of legacy medical imaging software are well-known to Lifetrack’s CEO and Founder, Eric Schulze, MD, PhD, a practicing radiologist and member of the American Board of Radiology. In 2003, he co-founded one of the first teleradiology companies in the United States, 24/7 Radiology, which he successfully exited in 2011 to Alliance Imaging. He founded Lifetrack Medical Systems shortly after to completely rethink how radiology software could be architected from the ground up.
“The vision for Lifetrack is to make healthcare software human again by building simple, elegant, powerful, and intuitive software platforms for the entire healthcare ecosystem,” said Eric Schulze. “We started this journey with medical imaging in emerging markets such as the Philippines where needs are greatest, resources are scarcest, and demand for high-quality affordable healthcare is growing because of the rapidly expanding middle class. Our new investors embrace that vision and mission, and we’re excited to move into this next phase with them as our partners.”
UOB Venture Management (UOBVM) led the investment in Lifetrack through its Asia Impact Investment Fund (AIIF). Through the AIIF, UOBVM and its impact advisory partner, Credit Suisse, supports growth companies in Southeast Asia and China that address key social challenges and improve the lives of those in low income communities.
According to Clarissa Loh, Senior Director at UOBVM, “in many developing areas in Asia, access to affordable medical imaging is constrained by the lack of qualified radiologists. Lifetrack’s solution seeks to overcome this challenge, and with our investment through the AIIF, we hope to help bring affordable diagnostic imaging to more people in this region.”
Philips, a global leader in health technology, and existing investor Kickstart Ventures, the leading corporate venture capital firm in the Philippines, also participated in this financing round.
“Philips, as a leading health technology company, is focused on improving people’s health and enhancing care provider productivity across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and home care,” said Diederik Zeven, general manager of health systems at Philips ASEAN Pacific.
“Access to precision diagnoses can be challenging in some parts of the world,” he said. “We are committed to partnering with Lifetrack Medical Systems to improve access to advanced radiology services for patients in regions with a developing health system, such as ASEAN and South Asia, so that patients can receive optimal treatment via their local caregivers, wherever they are.”
The LifeSys™ platform combines features and patented technologies that cater to the medical needs in developing countries, such as an advanced configuration engine and a radiologist guidance system. It is now used in multiple emerging markets in ASEAN, South Asia, and Africa. Its innovative architecture also makes it suitable for customers in developed markets. Over 780,000 patients have had their medical images diagnosed via LifeSys™, and it was recognized for Excellence in Disruptive Technology by the Financial Times and International Finance Corporation at the Transformational Business Awards in London in 2018.
“Our new investors give us the resources to improve our team and technology, and to continue working with some of the fastest-growing and largest enterprise healthcare providers around the world,” according to Carl Nicholas Ng, who was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Lifetrack after leading growth and fundraising over the last two years.
“Our aim is to partner with healthcare systems, both private and public, to make widespread access to diagnostic imaging a reality regardless of where the modality, patient, and doctor are physically located, he said.