If telemedicine is going to stick around, Carlo Perez says a new generation of companies will have to usher in what he calls
Instead of webcams and FaceTime, Perez said, the future of telemedicine uses new technology to provide imaging just as good as, if not better than, that found in top hospitals and clinics around the country.
Six years ago, he started building Swift Medical based on that theory. On Thursday, after the pandemic-induced telemedicine boom, Swift Medical raised $35 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Virgo Investment Group and included participation from an existing investor Data Collective. Perez declined to disclose the company’s valuation.
Swift Medical is part of the generation of companies just starting to hit their strides now that the pandemic has forced clinics and hospitals to rapidly adopt telehealth services during local and nationwide closures.
The company makes an app that is primarily designed for nurses or clinicians caring for patients with chronic wounds, such as those in diabetic patients. It uses 3D image modeling and artificial intelligence to remotely reconstruct the wound digitally for caregivers, including measurements like width and depth that are hard to standardize in traditional care practices. The goal, Perez said, is to provide research-grade imaging technology in different care settings now that many chronic patients are opting to receive care at home and caregivers are more comfortable with remote monitoring technology.
Perez said he and his cofounders, one of whom is a former aerospace engineer who helped develop vision technology for Mars rovers, developed the technology before deciding to use it to treat chronic-wound patients. With the additional funding, Perez said Swift Medical could expand its offerings to include other areas of care in which imaging is critical but similarly lacks a standard practice across clinics in the US.
Without high-quality imaging, home-based care will struggle to become mainstream, Perez said.
“Our goal is to offer research-grade imaging at the bedside, and there are lots of things to image,” Perez said.