June 15, 2024

Neko Health, a company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden that touts an artificial intelligence-powered body scanner and a team of medical doctors and technicians, today announced it has raised €60 million ($65 million) in a funding round to expand its services.

The Series A round was led by the investment capital firm Lakestar, with participation from Atomico and General Catalyst.

Neko Health, which is named after the Japanese word for cat, was founded in 2018 by Daniel Ek, co-founder and chief executive of Spotify Technology SA, and Hjalmar Nilsonne with the intent to build a full-body scanner backed by AI that can detect common ailments. The company emerged from stealth mode in February with a clinic in Stockholm and it intends to use the funding to expand beyond its initial facility.

“Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control. We believe preventive health will be key to reversing this trend,” said CEO Nilsonne said in a statement. “Doctors today just don’t have enough time or resources to focus on prevention. This leads to many health problems going unnoticed until they get really serious, causing a lot of pain and putting a massive strain on the healthcare system.”

Each scan costs €250 ($271) and upon launch the company said it became so popular it performed more than 1,000 scans. About 80% of its customers have prepaid for follow-up scans in 12 months.

The company says its scans take approximately 10 minutes and use more than 70 sensors to collect 50 million data points and more than 15 gigabytes of data in minutes and can detect extremely small skin changes. Afterward, the client receives a doctor’s consultation with results and recommendations instantly.

“We have our own nurses, doctors and specialists,” Nilsonne told Bloomberg. “We have dermatologists employed just to review the skin images. There is a doctor on site who can make qualified medical judgments for anything that comes up.”

The technology is intended to be used for detecting disease earlier as part of a preventative measure. The company said that the system uses advanced AI to help detect underlying conditions based on the data from the scanner’s sensors. The algorithms the system uses can also help predict issues such as skin conditions, risks for cardiovascular disease, heart conditions, metabolic issues and diabetes.

Neko Health’s founders did not give many details about the AI algorithms or what insights the medical doctors would have into their predictions for their recommendations. According to the company, there are currently four clinical studies being carried out to improve the system and the underlying system.

Right now, the body scanning tech is only available in one location in Sweden, but with this funding, Neko Health intends to open more clinics around Europe. There is a waitlist available to guarantee access to clients during the expansion.

Photo: Neko Health

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