Why we invested in Skin Analytics’ recent £4m Series A

At Crista Galli Ventures we understand that the future of healthcare will see clinicians working in tandem with clinically validated AI. This is why we have invested in Skin Analytics – a UK based healthtech company, using AI tools to diagnose skin cancer.

Dermatology is a massive market worldwide, estimated to be worth $33bn by 2023, with ever-increasing demand pressure on both primary and secondary care.  Potential skin cancers are a large part of this. Skin Analytics’ mission is to create a future in which no one dies of skin cancer. They have developed AI technology that helps detect skin cancer. Crucially, their CE-marked DERM. AI (Deep Ensemble for the Recognition of Malignancy) technology helps diagnose skin cancer at an early stage. DERM.AI identifies the most common malignant, pre-malignant, and benign skin lesions using a bank of dermoscopic images.

DERM.AI is not just an exciting idea, but one that is already being put into practice by several NHS and private providers, including BUPA and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB). World-leading AI research has also been conducted with a 2019 study, published in the prestigious medical journal JAMA, finding that the AI was working with the same accuracy as clinical specialists. This is part of Skin Analytics’ drive to build evidence-based, clinically validated AI tools.

Currently, around 16,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma every year. With melanoma, the difference in outlook based on stage of diagnosis is stark. If diagnosed during stage I there is more than a 95% chance of survival, but this drops to a 8-25% chance if diagnosed at stage IV. This means diagnosing and treating melanoma early makes a real difference to patient outcomes.  As a former hospital doctor and consultant radiologist, our founder, Dr Fiona Pathiraja, has witnessed first-hand the devastating impact of advanced (metastasised) skin cancer.

Skin Analytics have taken the time to gain a real understanding of the skin cancer patient pathways and all the key stakeholders within them. This allows them to help create new AI-powered clinical pathways which improve patient outcomes whilst saving time for GPs and dermatologists.  With AI-powered clinical pathways, not all patients with a new skin lesion need to be seen by a dermatologist in hospital; Skin Analytics is building a solution to the issue of demand pressure on dermatology departments.

We are delighted to have participated in Skin Analytics’ recent £4m funding round. Their high quality AI technology,  focus on conducting world-leading research and understanding of the skin cancer clinical pathways will transform the future of healthcare. We look forward to supporting the team, and helping them integrate their technologies into the UK health sector and beyond.