Figure 1 plans include AI, Collections, monetization

By Jonah Comstock
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Earlier this week, Figure 1, a medical image-sharing network often referred to as an Instagram for doctors, raised $10 million in Series B funding. To some extent, that funding is going into ramping up the already impressive growth of the platform. But the company also has big plans to add some additional features: Fast Company reported on Figure 1’s AI plans this week, and CEO Gregory Levey told MobiHealthNews about another feature called Collections.

“There are tens of thousands of medical cases on Figure 1 and countless clinical discussions happening around them every minute of every day,” Levey said in an email. “To help healthcare professionals get the most out of Figure 1, we’ll soon be rolling out a feature called Collections. They allow users to organize and filter cases by specialty, anatomy, technique, subject, or any other criteria.” 

The feature will help expand the usefulness of Figure 1 in educational clinical settings.

“We see this being used by medical school professors preparing course packs, by chief residents assembling their rounds, and really by any healthcare professional who wants to customize their case library,” Levey said. “It will be a powerful new way to share medical knowledge.”

Figure 1 doesn’t charge doctors to use its app, so thus far it hasn’t really monetized the platform. But that’s going to change, Levey said, as the company introduces curated sponsored content.

 “Figure 1’s mission is to democratize medical knowledge. This means giving every healthcare professional in the world access to the resources on our platform for free - and that requires building a sustainable business,” he wrote. “We've recently started monetization pilots—specifically, we introduced peer-to-peer sponsored content on Figure 1, which introduces industry partners to present Grand Rounds on a rare disease, to our global community. These sponsored posts exceed our already high engagement standards, and we are now working with top-tier organizations like the CDC and Novartis to deliver educational content our community wants to see.”

As for machine learning, Fast Company wrote earlier this week that the company is soon to announce the first of its machine learning efforts, a feature that will turn photos of ECGs (which are already shared on the platform) into data that’s easier to share and parse on medical devices. Future plans include using Figure 1’s app as a dataset for teaching machines to recognize all kinds of medical images, potentially including wounds or dermatologic images.