New York-based AI firm Optain, which specializes in utilizing eye images to identify and prevent early-stage diseases, has raised $12 million in seed funding.
Ascertain, a joint venture between Aegis Ventures and Northwell Holdings focused on developing healthcare AI companies at scale, provided the investment.
The funds will be used by Optain to expand operations and further develop its offerings.
Jeff Dunkel, CEO of Optain, leads the company in providing AI-powered software and hardware solutions for noninvasive diagnosis of eye and systemic health conditions in real-time. Leveraging the eye as a portal for monitoring overall health, the company’s AI-enabled portable retinal camera enables healthcare professionals to screen for over 140 early-stage eye and systemic conditions.
Optain’s approach is based on more than a decade of research by Professor Mingguang He, a prominent researcher at the University of Melbourne and Centre for Eye Research in Australia.
The origins of Optain can be traced back to Australian company Eyetelligence, founded in 2019. Eyetelligence is built upon the innovations of Professor Mingguang He, a distinguished clinician-scientist at the University of Melbourne and Centre for Eye Research Australia. The company has developed a range of clinically validated and regulatory-approved AI products, which have been commercialized in markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East. Moreover, Eyetelligence’s products are being introduced in two of Australia’s largest retail eyecare chains.