[Tech Startup News] Ablacon: Ingenious AI-based Solution for Treating Atrial Fibrillation

Benerva Suarez
February 18, 2020

Artificial intelligence, once used for improving process efficiency and automating resource-heavy tasks is now making waves in the realm of healthcare. An AI startup known as Ablacon took the healthcare industry by storm when it introduced an advanced medical imaging solution based on machine learning for treating a critical heart condition known as atrial fibrillation. With a total funding north of $30 million, the Colorado-based startup’s cutting-edge atrial fibrillation treatment therapy is something to watch out for. 

Ablacon is listed as one of the top 25 machine learning startups of 2019 by Forbes.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart-related abnormality characterized by an irregular heartbeat, which is otherwise known as arrhythmia. While current medical imaging and diagnostics solutions help identify the onset of this condition, there is a need for a more precise and reliable imaging solution. 

The need for improved atrial fibrillation treatment

Identified by symptoms such as dizziness, extreme fatigue, irregular heartbeat and chest discomfort, atrial fibrillation is one of the most occuring heart complications in the world; in 2010 alone, more than 30 million people fell prey to this condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also determined that 9% of people exceeding the age 65 are known to be diagnosed with the condition and need appropriate atrial fibrillation treatment.

Generally speaking, usual diagnostic practices such as ECG, Holter monitor, and echocardiogram do an acceptable job when it comes to identifying and monitoring the condition. However, there hasn’t been a holistic medical imaging solution that can both qualitatively and quantitatively understand the condition. 

Ablacon, on the other hand, developed a medical imaging system that provides a real-time visualization of what’s going on in the heart. This way, atrial fibrillation can be treated both quickly and reliably. What’s more, Ablacon’s machine learning algorithm better understands the condition, due to which it allows for a more efficient diagnosis and cure. 

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Treatment made simpler 

Electrographic Flow mapping with Ablamap is a novel technique to create full temporospatial visualizations of organized action potential flow, which are proven to accurately identify the sources of atrial fibrillation, within chaotic conduction of Atrial Fibrillation. Ablacon has developed advanced machine learning algorithms to assist physicians for better performing targeted catheter ablation therapy. 

“The idea to leverage techniques and algorithms from computer vision to analyze electric signals in the heart is ingenious. Ablacon combines concepts from both the medical world and machine intelligence in a way that I think is very promising,” said Daniel Cremers, Professor and Chair for Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition at the Technical University of Munich. 

Discovering Ablacon’s potential for impact and growth across the healthcare sector, Ajax Health, a company known for its prolific investment and development of medical companies has invested $21.5 million as a part of Series A funding in Ablacon. The funds will be used to advance its technology pipeline and perform more clinical trials as well. 

Growth potential and future prospects 

Currently lead by the industry veteran and CEO of Ajax Health, Duke Rohlen, who has time and again proven himself with a successful track record across in medical technology exits such as EPIX Therapeutics, Spirox, CV Ingenuity, and FoxHollow Technologies, Ablacon is set to revolutionize atrial fibrillation treatment through advanced medical imaging. 

The founder and the former CEO of Ablacon, Professor Peter Ruppersberg expressed his confidence in Rohlen, while stating that he shall remain as the president and chief scientific officer of the company. “We look forward to working with Duke and his team of experienced healthcare executives to bring this technology to market,” said Ruppersberg.

In the United States alone, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation is estimated to rise up to 12.1 million, meaning that Ablacon has excellent scope for growth in the realm of atrial fibrillation treatment. Several healthcare investors are now rushing to the doorstep of Ablacon to tap into its massive potential for making far-reaching changes to the current medical technology and healthcare delivery.

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