Figure 1 picks up another $10M for image-based doctor social network

By Jonah Comstock
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Clinical image and knowledge-sharing app Figure 1, which is sometimes described as an Instagram for doctors, has raised $10 million in funding in a round led by Kensington Capital Partners, with additional support from Samsung NEXT Ventures, John Hancock/Manulife Financial, Hedgewood, and WTI. Existing investors Union Square Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, and Version One Ventures also participated.

This is the fourth round of funding for the four-year-old startup and brings its total investment to $23 million.

“Every morning we wake up with the goal of democratizing medical knowledge in order to help save lives,” Gregory Levey, Figure 1’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with investors who understand why we come to work. Using these resources, the coming years will see Figure 1 integrate new technologies in order to completely transform itself — bolstering the already astounding capabilities of the network. We are just getting started.”

Figure 1 allows medical professionals to securely take and share photos with other users of the app. The offering can be used by doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and medical and nursing students. As an extra privacy measure, the app also has a face-blocking feature to automatically block faces after the picture of the patient is uploaded. 

All photos are screened by the company's medical officer and a team of moderators to make sure the patient's identifying information has been removed from the photo. If doctors do not want to post, they are still able to make an account to view what other people are posting and comment on those photos.

In a blog post, the company shared some success stories. One physician used the app to identify shiitake mushrooms as the source of a child’s mysterious rash. A nurse used the app to identify a mysterious pill and safely treat an overdose. Doctors are even using the technology to share how they are using new technologies such as augmented reality.

“With this new investment, Figure 1 will expand our knowledge network, adding to the millions of healthcare professionals who help each other provide better care,” the company wrote in the blog post. “We’ll build on our case intelligence, finding new ways to extract value from the tens of thousands of real medical cases in our library. And we’ll continue to do this via a free platform, available to every healthcare professional, at any time of day and no matter where they practice.”