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Pearl, a Santa Monica, California-based startup applying AI to dentistry, today announced that it’s raised $11 million in series A funding led by Craft Ventures and unnamed strategic dental industry partners.
CEO Ophir Tanz, a Carnegie Mellon graduate who spearheaded the development of AI dental technologies at GumGum before spinning out his work into Pearl, said the fresh capital will further Pearl’s progress toward creating a holistic oral health platform.
“Pearl will have an immediate positive impact on the dental category,” said Tanz. “It will streamline tedious, repetitive tasks, enhance profitability across dentistry, and, most importantly, it will improve the standard of care by validating diagnoses, removing large elements of uncertainty from the dental equation.”
Pearl offers a trio of tools that address different dental domains.
Second Opinion taps AI trained on samples annotated by “hundreds” of dentists to identify “dozens” of common pathologies in dental x-rays, and to create structured medical records while self-improving from live feedback.
Meanwhile, Practice Intelligence leverages data from Second Opinion to drill down (no pun intended) into the dollars and cents of the dental business, chiefly by identifying identify marketing, hiring, and ROI trends and insights with machine learning models. Practice Intelligence can also generate on-demand performance reports that highlight trends in the patient pool.
There’s Smart Margin, which instantly scores dental scans and executes margin marketing with high accuracy. And last but not least, there’s Scan Clarity, a dental labs product which automatically scores (and subsequently categorizes) the clarity of each patient scan based on the presence or absence of margins, contact points, and defects. High-margin scans are marked and sent onto the next processing step, while low-margin scans are flagged for human review.
It’s worth noting that Pearl isn’t unique in its AI-forward approach to dental analysis. Canadian company Orca AI similarly offers dental imaging solutions augmented with AI, as does Dent.AI, which develops products it claims report upwards of 40% of undiagnosed dental conditions.
But Pearl intends to diversify. In the near future, Tanz says, it’ll test and deploy computed tomography, panoramic, intraoral, and cephalometric scans at DSO groups and universities, and in its next growth phase, the company will build systems that ingest doctors notes in the dental record to rank the seriousness of identified pathologies. Lastly, barring any setbacks, Pearl will incorporate new research to flag early indicators of disease and tie oral health to full-body health (and vice versa).
“Healthcare is rapidly becoming a focal point of the AI revolution and AI’s impact — on patient care and, ultimately, humanity — is both exciting and profound,” concluded Tanz. “We’re in the thick of it and that feels good.”
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