WisconsinINNO: Madison startup Otologic Technologies launches $500K seed funding round

WisconsinINNO: Madison startup Otologic Technologies launches $500K seed funding round

A Madison-based health tech startup that’s looking to revolutionize the ear disease diagnosis process has opened a seed funding round in support of a newly patented technology.

The early-stage startup has developed an artificial intelligence system to help doctors better diagnose ear disease through its tech, which the company said last week was officially awarded a U.S. patent.

Otologic’s tech works like this: Using a digital otoscope, a doctor captures a short 5-second video clip of a patient’s ear. The doctor then loads the images into Otologic’s database of ear anomalies. The system then identifies and analyzes the physical features of the patient’s ear, and presents three to five similarly diagnosed cases with a “percent-match” suggestion for the clinician to take into consideration.

“One of the biggest challenges in diagnosing ear disease is the difficult nature of an ear exam,” Dr. Aaron Moberly, associate professor of otolaryngology at The Ohio State University and one of the inventors of the technology, said in a press release. “Even experienced doctors can have trouble with a live ear exam, as patients are usually uncomfortable and the view can be obstructed. Today’s ear exam process doesn’t scale well into the modern world of telemedicine and remote diagnosis.”

Otologic Technologies holds an exclusive license to the technology worldwide. Moberly serves as the company’s chief medical officer, and Metin Gurcan, currently director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Wake Forest School of Medicine, serves as the company’s chief consulting scientist. Moberly and Gurcan collaborated to develop the technology.

Otologic Technologies is now seeking to raise $500,000 to integrate the technology into a telemedicine-oriented clinical decision support system.

The company is a past Life Sciences category winner in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition and was a finalist in the 2019 Summerfest Tech pitch competition.