5 Small Global Stocks With FDA Approved AI Algorithms
A typical novice investor is someone who Googles “best stocks to invest in under $5.” It’s not because they’re asking Google where to invest their hard-earned money, it’s that they’re associating the price of a stock with the size of a company. That’s not how investing works. Tesla at $700 a share is not more expensive than Nikola Motor at $20 a share.
Even the experts have a hard time defining what “small” is. The leading expert in the classification of global equities, MSCI (MSCI), uses a methodology that acts as a moving target. In other words, “small” depends on what stock universe you’re looking at. Regardless of semantics, today we’re going to look at 5 global small-cap stocks with FDA-approved algorithms.
5 Small Global AI Stocks
We recently produced a piece on 8 AI Healthcare Startups with FDA-Approved Algorithms which explored dozens of companies out there with FDA-approved AI algorithms. While FDA approval hardly guarantees success, it provides the companies themselves a way to stand above the crowd in a much-hyped and competitive space. While researching our piece, we came across five small publicly traded AI healthcare companies across the globe with FDA-approved algorithms.
|Company Name||Country||Ticker||Market Cap |
|Resonance Health Limited||Australia||RHT.AX||76|
|AmCad BioMed Corporation||Taiwan||4188.TWO||37|
|Cambridge Cognition Holdings||United Kingdom||COG.L||33|
Many venture capital (VC) firms don’t invest in teams with dreams. You need to have revenues – also called traction – in order for most VCs to start expressing interest. We take the same approach with publicly traded stocks. Surprisingly, all of these companies have meaningful revenue streams, though most are not experiencing the sort of revenue growth we’re looking for.
An AI Stock for Breast Cancer
Put away your pink ribbons because there’s an easier way to cure breast cancer. It’s something we talk about in our piece on Early Detection of Breast Cancer Cures Breast Cancer, a cancer that seems to attract more attention than any other type because of how relatively common it is. Australia’s Volpara (VHT.AX) is one publicly traded company looking to diagnose breast cancer early, and iCAD seems to be offering a similar value proposition.
The iCAD technology platforms include advanced hardware and software as well as management services designed to support cancer detection and radiation therapy treatments. Revenue numbers are meaningful, though growth has been slow.
Their radiation technology helps target cancer while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue, while their computer aided detection (CAD) solutions support rapid and accurate detection of breast and colorectal cancers. A fair number of companies are working on this, something we touched on in last year’s piece on 7 AI Cancer Diagnostics Startups Digitizing Healthcare. Our next company is also working on improving radiation therapy.
An AI Stock for Radiation Therapy
RaySearch Laboratories is a world leader in software for radiation therapy that’s currently used by more than 2,600 cancer centers in more than 65 countries. The company was founded in 2000 and has been trading on Nasdaq Stockholm since 2003. Yearly revenues were experiencing solid growth before “The Rona” reared her ugly head. The below chart on the right shows how revenues fell off a cliff in 2020 after some solid annual growth for the four years prior.
A radiation therapy center essentially needs two software platforms for its operations: a treatment planning system, and an information system. RaySearch’s AI-powered AutoPlanning functionality was being developed as far back as 2017. The algorithms learn “to model the shape and intensity of the radiation treatment as it is related to the patient’s images, reducing planning times from hours to minutes, while requiring minimal upfront preparation or user interaction.”
An AI Stock for MRI Imaging
Resonance Health Limited is an aptly named Australian firm that specializes in liver imaging technologies. Their flagship offering, FerriScan, has been around for a decade and is the gold standard in the measurement of liver iron overload used in 30 countries across the globe. It must not be overly lucrative for the company as revenues are barely a trickle at the moment. Hopefully, that changes with an AI algorithm they’ve developed for the automated assessment of liver fat from MRI data. Total revenues for 2020 were less than $3 million, around the same number realized in 2019.
At some point, this company needs to start bringing in meaningful revenues and that may mean expanding beyond the narrow niche they’re focusing on presently.
An AI Stock for Ultrasound
Taiwan’s AmCad BioMed is pioneering AI in ultrasound, at least that’s the first thing they tell you on the company homepage. We’ve written about ultrasound technology extensively over the past few years, from portable ultrasounds to a robotic AI-powered ultrasound device that examines the brain in real-time. One company we looked at, Caption Health, has built an ultrasound platform that can turn any amateur into an expert sonographer using AI to help interpret the imagery.
In looking at AmCad BioMed’s website, it seems that they’re pretty much on the same path with a platform that helps better interpret better ultrasound imagery. They’re a self-described leader in this space with growing revenues, at least up until 2020.
It’s not just about software. AmCad’s iSONO accessory cleverly puts together the gel supply, a monitoring display, the ultrasound controls, and the probe in a handheld device.
Revenues for this small company are still miniscule, and they’ll need to grow a lot faster to capture market share from their well-funded competitors.
An AI Stock for Digital Cognitive Testing
England’s own Cambridge Cognition is “the world’s most recognized digital cognitive testing platform for all areas of brain research.” Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated into revenue growth. Even prior to the you know what, Cambridge Cognition was suffering from declining revenues, not that they were much to begin with. The good news is that they seem to be staying steady through the first half of 2020 as they tighten their purse strings.
In 2017, the company adopted some AI technology for speech recognition. Language can be used to measure changes in many psychiatric and neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia. Their product, NeuroVocalix, enables voice-based cognitive assessments to be delivered directly to patients through mobile and telehealth platforms.
If you sell software that helps assess the health of the brain, then AI is a natural fit. These days you’d be very surprised if a company like this didn’t use AI, which is something we’ve been concluding a lot lately.
Our investing methodology avoids investing in stocks with less than $1 billion market capitalization (shares X share price). That’s because we are risk-averse tech investors who would rather miss out on some upside than step on the occasional landmine like Bind Therapeutics. Not investing in pre-revenue companies is another universal rule we follow, but in this case, that’s not applicable. But there’s another thing we need to consider as AI technology becomes mature.
We’ve referred to these as “AI stocks,” but that term is becoming quickly commoditized. There are at least several dozen companies with FDA-approved AI algorithms. We probably wouldn’t consider them all to be “AI companies.” Maybe it’s time to stop looking at AI as something special. There’s an expectation now that if you’re a company that captures or analyzes medical imagery, you’re using AI to do it. Therefore, the fact that these companies have approved AI algorithms just means they’re keeping up with the competition as opposed to achieving some unique competitive advantage.
Despite what the pundits say, FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) don't give you real exposure to AI. Read about 7 stocks that give you true pure-play exposure to AI in our guide to investing in AI healthcare companies, freely available to Nanalyze Premium subscribers.