Figure 1 Raises $5 Million To Ramp Up Its Instagram-Like Medical Image Sharing Service

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Digital health startup Figure 1 announces that it has closed a $5 million Series A funding round led by returning investor Union Square Ventures. The round also included investments from returning investors Version One Ventures, Graph Ventures, and Rho Canada, as well as new investors Allen & Co and a number of angel investors. The new round is Figure 1’s fourth investment and brings its total raised to $13.5 million. The startup took in a $2.5 million venture round in August of this year, a separate $4 million Series A in 2014, and a $1.65 million seed round in 2013.

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Figure 1 launched a medical image sharing social media app in 2013 described as Instagram for doctors. The platform allows providers to share medical images with a growing community of clinical end users for help diagnosing a condition, or simply to share details from an unusual case. Images and possible diagnosis are then discussed among the sites users, essentially taking a crowd-sourcing approach to a traditional consultation. User credentials and medical licensure is verified and displayed within the app, so the feedback exchanged on the site has some credibility, though the general public is still welcome to join and comment on images, their accounts are just unverified and do not display medical qualifications.

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Images shared on the site are all de-identified, including the automatic blurring of faces and manual blurring of tattoos, which is how the startup skirts HIPAA privacy issues. Each image is then reviewed by a moderator to ensure that all identifying marks and information has been removed before it goes live on the site.

The app was launched in 2013 and is now used by 50,000 medical professionals daily, with a total user base of more than 500,000. Figure 1 will use its new funding to expand globally, first in Brazil, and then in China. It will use its funding to develop Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese versions of its app, and establish global teams to build local partnerships in the countries it is targeting.


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