Saile Villegas and Reo Ogusu are the founders of SeeAI, a technology company that develops solutions to solve the shortage of radiologists. They are interested in building technology that can help hospitals of any size and any location to provide an expert-level diagnosis. Saile and Reo have a strong background in computer science. They both hold an MSc in Computer Science from The University of Leeds. Reo has years of experience in image analysis and text analytics as a researcher and Saile has wide experience in health data analytics. They are both working towards helping hospitals provide an accurate and timely diagnosis to improve patient outcomes through AI-supported early fracture diagnosis.
What was the idea borne out of/ what is the main challenge that the product is trying to solve?
The idea was borne when Saile was misdiagnosed by a non-specialist in the past, due to the limited availability of specialists for consultation. This situation is not uncommon, on a regular basis, important findings can be missed, and patients need to be recalled, informed, and correct treatment initiated.
We are trying to solve the problems caused by the shortage of radiologists. According to the Clinical Radiology Workforce Census Report 2019, the demand for x-rays has been increasing significantly and 99% of the UK NHS Trusts have not been able to meet their reporting requirement within their contracted hours.
Our technology aims to drive efficiency to relieve the pressure that has significantly increased due to a chronic shortage of radiologists and most recently due to COVID-19 from radiologists and other healthcare professionals.
Our AI solution can help solve the problem of supply and demand by reducing the workload of radiologists. It can speed up diagnostic times by providing an automatic analysis of the x-ray image and pre-filling a radiology report; allowing radiologists to redirect their freed-up time to other important areas.
When did the idea first move into development?
The idea started to get in shape during the second half of 2018, and moved into development in early 2019. Later that year, we received funding to develop the Proof-Of-Concept and in 2020 we received further funding to develop the working prototype of the technology.
Who is the main target audience for the platform?
Radiologists and healthcare professionals.
Is the platform live? If not, where in the development stage is the project at?
We are currently working with NHS Scotland on the development of our innovation for wrist and ankle, two of the most commonly misdiagnosed bones. We aim to start with clinical trials during the second half of 2021 and then head for commercialisation.
How did you find the Propel@YH application process?
The first stage of the application was very straightforward. We filled out an application form that included a brief overview about our company, our solution, and its expected benefits. The video brief that was part of the application form took a bit more work than we thought it would as it was something unusual for us. The interview after being shortlisted was a bit more challenging, as all the parties involved are very experienced in this field, and it felt a little intimidating at the start.
What have you found the most insightful or useful part of the programme so far?
The masterclasses have been the most insightful. Having knowledge on topics such as how the NHS works, how to go through the regulatory process, clinical safety by design, etc. is essential for companies in the healthcare industry. However, it is hard to find concise and well-structured information in a single place. The masterclasses offered by Propel@YH have provided that knowledge and have been incredibly helpful.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were to apply again?
The assessment day is easier than you think because you know your product. There is no need to be nervous.
What are you most looking forward to learning about in the programme’s masterclasses?
Since the next step of our development is to go through clinical trials, we would like to learn how to design the clinical trials properly and what kind of evidence we need to gather to go through regulatory approvals.