MedaPhor on the up as AI products take shape

Turnover at Cardiff-headquartered MedaPhor has increased past £4m with chief executive Stuart Gall saying that Wales is now at the forefront of using artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine and well placed to compete with research centres around the world.

For the year to December 31st 2017 MedaPhor increased revenues by 27% to £4.2m, with sales in North America doubling, and sales in China growing by 83%. However, sales to the UK slowed as a result of budgetary restraint in the NHS. The company also posted a loss of £2.7m before exceptional items partly because of the associated costs of its purchase of Intelligent Ultrasound.

Stuart Gall told Insider Media “We’re not the business we were two years ago. We have moved into the clinical ultrasound sector and are developing a range of AI guidance and image tools to support and guide sonographers that will put Cardiff at the forefront of the use of AI in ultrasound. The results for our simulator business were encouraging with good export growth, especially to North America. Doubling their sales this year was a big step for them and we have a good team there to keep that going. Secondly, the results from the rest of the world were encouraging. China became our second biggest export destination, bigger than our home market in the UK and there’s real potential for that to increase. We put someone in Hong Kong to support Asia and China to keep that growth going.”

The company launched a round of funding in 2017, raising £5.4m from new and existing shareholders.

Stuart Gall said “We raised money in October to move into AI based image analysis but also to keep our existing simulation business growing. In January we launched our new product, BodyWorks Eve for teaching emergency medicine ultrasound. It’s a great simulator and so realistic; it went down really well at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in Los Angeles. It was a big product launch for us which will keep will keep the simulation business growing.

“The acquisition of Intelligent Ultrasound enabled us to move into clinical ultrasound. Based in Oxford, our first AI product is ScanNav and its well on the road to it becoming a commercial product. It’s the first real-time AI-based ultrasound image analysis software that supports and guides the sonographer and it’s currently being piloted at St Georges Hospital in London. It puts Wales right at the forefront of AI in medicine. There’s a lot of exciting work going on in this field, and MedaPhor is a player in this new market. Ultimately the technology could enable an unskilled user like you or me to complete simple scanning at home and that could be a transformatory technology opening a huge new market.”

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