Bengaluru healthtech startup — 5C Network — has raised an undisclosed amount of seed-stage funding from Unitus Ventures, Axilor, and Ahmedabad Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), as it aims to expand its service across cities and integrate more innovative solutions into the platform.
5C Network was launched in November 2016 by Kalyan Sivasailam and Syed Ahmed. The platform enables radio diagnostic hospitals and centres to avail the fastest and easiest way to get a quality radiology report on the patient.
It allows hospitals and diagnostic centres to upload a patient’s reports directly to the cloud-based platform where automated data extraction and analysis is done by 5C Network’s proprietary machine learning (ML) algorithm.
“It starts with getting information such as data and images on patients overall diagnosis history. Our intelligent platform then assigns the case, which is pre-filled, to a particular radiologist,” Sivasailam told Inc42.
“Using the stack, radiologists can accurately use images, data history, along with advanced features like multi-protocol reconstruction, 3D views, etc, to give an accurate report,” he added.
The service is currently being used across 190 hospitals and diagnostic centres in 14 states of the country, with 97 radiologists on-board.
The startup earns revenue from its clients, hospitals and diagnostic centres, and pays the radiologist, who is essentially the supplier of the startup, and earns a margin on each transaction, the founder claimed.
Sivasailam said that the startup is currently handling over 950 cases. It aims to collaborate with over 1K hospitals, and 200 radiologists over the next two years.
Benefits Of AI-Driven Diagnostics
According to startup’s findings, more than 50% of the deaths in non-metro cities are ascribed to delayed diagnosis or diagnosis that did not happen due to non-availability of facilities.
“5C Network is solving this challenge at scale by improving access to radiologists and making geography irrelevant,” the founder said.
Diagnostics is one segment in the technology-backed healthcare sector of India, which is poised to hit $32 Bn by 2022. Over the years, this segment has seen an increasing use case of artificial intelligence (AI) and ML. For instance, Bengaluru startup SigTuple uses data-driven ML learning and cloud-based solution for detection of abnormalities, while OncoStem predicts the risk of relapses in cancer patients.
However, the country’s healthcare sector faces a highly fragmented network. For example, the doctor-patient ratio is appallingly low, with just six doctors for every 10K people. In comparison to a globally prescribed standard of 60-70 per million, “in India, there are less than 10 radiologists per million,” Axilor healthcare investments head Prachi Sinha said.
This present a huge opportunity for technology-backed startups to bridge the numerous gaps in the country’s healthcare sector. In terms of funding to startups, the sector has attracted $504 Mn funding last year from across 69 deals, according to Inc42‘s Indian Tech Startup Funding Report, 2018.
5C Network had earlier raised an undisclosed seed-stage funding from IIM Calcutta in April 2017. Moving ahead, the startup is preparing to launch a super-speciality second opinion portal, where doctors and patients can upload their own scans, and get a direct report from some of the best radio diagnostic centres from across the country. It plans to achieve the revenue growth of 6X-7X in the next 14-15 months.