Otologic Technologies, Inc. closes $275,000 funding round

Den Wenger
Den Wenger Credit: Lila Aryan

Health care software developer Otologic Technologies raised $275,000 in a privately held funding round organized by friends and family, the company recently announced.

The Wisconsin startup is developing an artificial intelligence system to help health care workers accurately diagnose ear disease.

Otologic Technologies’ core technology began as an academic invention when Aaron Moberly, MD, and ear surgeon and assistant professor at Ohio State University, collaborated with Metin Gurcan, Ph.D., a colleague at the university and expert in artificial intelligence and image analysis.

Together, the colleagues developed a system that captures and analyzes short video clips of a patient’s ear exam, which can provide health care staff diagnostic guidance and improve accuracy of diagnosis in primary care.

“Studies report ear disease is commonly over-diagnosed, and we’re spending $4 billion a year in the U.S. treating ear infections,” Otologic chief strategy officer Dan Wenger said in a statement. “We need to put better tools in the hands of healthcare teams to examine and diagnose ear disease.”

With the recently raised funds, Otologic will soon begin the commercialization planning process for its ear diagnosis technology. The company plans to move toward FDA clearance and commercialization over the next couple of years.

“What this funding round does is fund our commercialization planning, making sure that we can take this great artificial intelligence work and package a product around it that we can take to market,” Wenger said.

The Wisconsin-based startup had planned to locate in Milwaukee at a coworking space, but those plans were delayed by the impact of COVID-19, Wenger said.

Moberly and Gurcan are working on a two-year, $420,000 National Institutes of Health grant through September 2020 to expand the group of cases in the system to improve its accuracy. Early results have shown physicians’ accuracy rate improving from 30% to 85% with the use of Otologic, Wenger previously told BizTimes.

Otologic also announced its management team and board of directors, which consists of Darrin McCall as president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer and Wenger as vice president, chief strategy officer and treasurer.

Moberly and Gurcan were appointed to the board of directors and Moberly will also serve as chief medical officer. John Guequierre will continue to serve as secretary of the board of directors.

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