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UW Tacoma spinout raises $22 million to improve health outcomes through AI

Written by Meg Herndon / February 26, 2019

What if hospitals could predict when people were going to get sick, prevent heart failure complications and give patients better care at a lower cost? Ankur Teredesai, Ph.D. head of the University of Washington Tacoma’s Center for Data Science, and Samir Manjure, a former Microsoft executive, built healthcare IT company KenSci to do just that — and they recently raised $22 million to help make that vision a reality.

KenSci aims to reduce cost and improve healthcare outcomes through artificial intelligence (AI). First, they work with health organizations to collect large data sets including patient records and historical data about various health conditions. Then, they use complex machine learning models to mine these large data sets, analyzing this information to predict which patients might be at risk for complications or need additional care.

Founded in 2014 by childhood friends Manjure and Teredesai, KenSci was supported by the CoMotion team who helped the innovative healthcare IT startup develop and scale. The company was among CoMotion’s Innovation Gap Fund winners in 2014. “Working with CoMotion and our innovation manager Laura Dorsey was invaluable,” says Dr. Teredesai. “They helped us develop our intellectual property and licensing and spin our company out of the University. We found CoMotion to be experts who can provide guidance and advice on how to navigate within the university to set up a company, and facilitate connections to funding and mentors. We really appreciate what they did for us.”

In just five years, this company has had a big impact on healthcare providers in Seattle and beyond. For example, their team is helping physicians determine when heart failure patients should be discharged, reducing readmission rates and improving patient care while lowering cost. They’re also helping healthcare organizations improve their day-to-day operations, streamlining administrative and finance systems to improve patient satisfaction.

With an additional $22 million in funding, bringing total funding up to $30.5 million, KenSci plans to explore new markets and further expand their library of products. They received this funding in series B financing led by Polaris Partners, with participation from Ignition Partners, Osage University Partners, Mindset Ventures, and new strategic investor UL Ventures.