A Video Conversation with Kevin Keenahan, Co-founder and CEO of Tissue Analytics - Part III


Kevin Keenahan

Click here for Part IPart II

Improving healthcare for millions of Americans living with chronic wounds

Kevin Keenahan is the co-founder and CEO of Tissue Analytics, a medical technology startup based in Baltimore. Using machine learning, Tissue Analytics transforms smartphones into powerful wound care imaging platforms. The app makes it easy for healthcare providers to take photos and gather information about skin, revolutionizing care for millions of Americans living with wounds, such as bedsores and diabetic ulcers, which sometimes accompany chronic conditions. With Tissue Analytics, providers can increase the accuracy and consistency of their measurements, and thereby assist their patients better and faster than ever before.

Kevin Keenahan spoke to citybizlist publisher Edwin Warfield from the Tissue Analytics offices at Spark for this interview.

EDWIN WARFIELD: Tissue Analytics recently invested $750,000 in the company. What do you attribute to your fundraising success?

KEVIN KEENAHAN: We have been extremely lucky when it comes to fundraising. Tencent is an amazing partner and we share very similar interests. We are both interested in the different ways that healthcare delivery could work around the world, and how artificial intelligence can improve the decision-making of clinicians.

When we first left Dreamit, we almost made a terrible mistake. We thought that we could make enough money fast enough that we wouldn’t have to raise, which is this naïve mistake that a lot of companies make. Dreamit, of course, strongly cautioned us against it and told us that “at demo day, you have to get on stage and announce a round—otherwise there’s no other ask that you can talk about.” We did demo day in Philadelphia. We announced that we were raising an initial $750,000. We had a really good interest. Dreamit helped coach us, especially Elliot Menschik and Jason Hardebeck—Jason is now at City Garage here at The Foundery. So, we decided to raise, which was a good decision, I would day. We found Tencent, who, as I said, is interested in artificial intelligence and healthcare delivery.

To get some good traction in the company originally, we managed to go out and build a really robust product and deploy it in a pretty good number of sites across the country. So, yes, we have been extremely lucky when it comes to fundraising.

Q. The company recently won a Beta City contest—can you tell us about that? Do you fundraise more actively in Baltimore or Philadelphia?

A. The Beta City Award does come with an investment from TEDCO. We’re very, very lucky to have that, but all of our investors in the past rounds have been angels from the Philadelphia area—Dreamit Ventures: we’ve been very lucky to have them participate in all of our subsequent rounds. We’re also extremely lucky to have Penn Medicine as one of our investors as well. They utilize the product in their home care agency, and after seeing the value of the product and seeing all the potential, they decided to invest, which is something we’re extremely proud of: that they put that much faith in the product. And Tencent’s exploration group or the Tencent America Group is based in Palo Alto.

Our investors today are Tencent Holdings, Dreamit Ventures, Penn Medicine, a venture capital firm in San Francisco called Frontier Tech Ventures, angels from Philadelphia, and—actually through the Dreamit program in Philadelphia—we also have Independence Blue Cross as an investor.

Q. What role has Hopkins played?

A. We did all our initial clinical validation at Hopkins. We did two IRB-approved studies, one at the Bayview Wound Care Clinic and one at Hopkins Home Care, where we were looking at how we can provide value to nurses. That’s an extremely important aspect of the system. We think, fundamentally, the value that we provide to nurses is that we simplify their workflow. We’re extremely conscious about how we change the nursing workflow and how we can improve or streamline how they see patients today.

Unfortunately, a lot of digital health systems fundamentally increase the number of tasks that a clinician has to do to get high quality data. We’re proud that our system actually reduces the number of tasks. So, while doing fewer tasks you can actually have much higher quality data. Hopkins Home Care was extremely important in helping us understand what nurses do when they go out in the clinic and how we can link in with that workflow.

Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn

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Edwin Warfield, CEO of citybizlist, conducts the CEO Interviews.

If you're interested in reaching CEOs, please contact edwin.warfield@citybizlist.com

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