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Lucem Health closing in on fundraise

Apr 20, 2023
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lucem Health is nearing the finish line of a $5 million to $10 million Series A extension to take its clinical AI platform to market, CEO Sean Cassidy tells Axios at HIMSS in Chicago.

Why it matters: After a flat end to 2022, digital health funding ticked upward in Q1 — but it remains a difficult fundraising environment.

Details: The Raleigh, North Carolina-based clinical AI company has locked in a new undisclosed investor, Cassidy says.

  • Existing investors — which include the Mayo Clinic and General Catalyst portfolio company Commure — will also participate.
  • Cassidy declined to disclose how the round will value the company.

What they're saying: "You have to have thick skin when you're trying to raise venture capital," Cassidy says.

  • Though Lucem heard a lot of "gentle nos," the company ended up seeing interest from VCs after the round was subscribed.

How it works: Lucem's platform uses clinically oriented artificial intelligence to identify patients who may be at risk for disease, as well as help doctors make more efficient diagnoses.

  • "These tools aren't new," he says. "But there's some trepidation amongst health care providers about deploying them."
  • The company is not using generative artificial intelligence (aka GPT), though Cassidy says it could be useful to facilitate the next steps for patients post-diagnosis.
  • Lucem runs on Google Cloud, which is pursuing its own clinical AI efforts.

Flashback: Lucem was founded in 2021, launched by the Mayo Clinic to connect remote patient monitoring devices with algorithms designed by Mayo and partners.

Be smart: While AI is the topic-du-jour in health care, products that leverage AI for specific use cases in health care have the most market longevity.

  • "What I've heard from investors is, 'We will not invest in a pure-play AI company,' meaning just a model development," Cassidy says. "It has to have a value proposition providers care about."
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