The two companies have signed an agreement that provides Straumann with global distribution rights to DM's technology in return for an injection of capital and a minor stake in DM. Straumann will integrate DM's technology into its portfolio of orthodontic and digital solutions and the two companies will collaborate to develop further applications for artificial intelligence in the dental field. DM will continue to support and sell to orthodontic customers through its own network.
Remote Monitoring - Transforming orthodontics
DM is the first company to enable orthodontists and dentists to remotely monitor treatment progress in their patients. Together with the introduction of virtual check-ups to supplement chairside appointments, this offers a significant improvement to patient care. After downloading the DM application on their smartphones, patients use the proprietary DM self-scanning process, usually on a weekly basis from the comfort and convenience of their home. DM's proprietary artificial intelligence technology extracts information from the collected data and combines it with the digital impression data acquired when treatment began.
The software uses highly accurate clinical measurement tools and photo-simulations that record actual tooth movement over the course of treatment and monitors any relapse during the post-treatment retention phase. The system communicates with the orthodontist whenever necessary or required, allowing for timely intervention and adjustments that make the treatment more efficient. The DM web-based dashboard allows the orthodontist to communicate effortlessly with the patient, to support compliance and motivation.
Artificial Intelligence ("AI")- next generation of dental products
The use of machine-learning algorithms to transform medicine and dentistry is an important technological innovation to improve treatment outcomes and patient engagement.
DM's engineering team based in Paris, has spent the last 4 years developing the DM proprietary technology to make remote monitoring a reality. The company has invested millions of dollars gathering and tagging clinically relevant data to enable the development of highly accurate artificial intelligence algorithms. Today its technology can detect over 170 different clinical situations from images taken by patients using their smartphones. These results are constantly clinically validated by DM's panel of orthodontists, prior to being communicated back to the treating orthodontist or dentist. In just a few years, DM has validated nearly 2 million clinical records from patients and the number is growing exponentially.
Integrating DM technologies into other dental products
DM's artificial intelligence technology will support Straumann's orthodontic and intraoral scanning businesses and could be extended to applications in implant and preventative dentistry. A significant part of Straumann's investment will be used to fund these developments and the Group will be represented in DM's Strategic Management and Development Board.
Marco Gadola, CEO of Straumann Group
"Enabling dentists to offer patients a reliable, easy-to-use mobile application for checking their teeth and treatment progress will change dentistry. Our investment in DM provides us with a proven orthodontics tracking system, which is commercially-available in addition to securing a partner with the expertise to develop further artificial intelligence solutions in our field".
Philippe Salah, CEO of Dental Monitoring
"In 2017, DM commenced a search for a strategic investor in the dental industry to provide funding and access to large global dental markets and to accompany us beyond our current position in orthodontic monitoring. Straumann is an ideal partner for many reasons: they are a truly global company and are investing significantly in digital dentistry as a core business. They are renowned for clinical excellence and brand leadership and share our passion for pioneering innovation and entrepreneurism. With their scientific heritage and strength in digital, they are our partner of choice for developing and establishing remote monitoring coupled with AI as the new standard of care".
Other DM Investors
In March 2018, DM completed a US$9.5m investment round with over 50 individual investors - mainly orthodontists who see the opportunity that DM has to transform not only orthodontics but also dentistry. DM is also backed by Naxicap Partners, one of France's largest private equity and venture capital firms who were DM's first external investors in 2016. The remainder of the shares are held by the founders and employees.
Use of Funds
DM will use the funds raised to invest in additional engineering resources and in the development of other dental fields beyond orthodontics. The funds will also be used by DM to invest in sales and marketing in core markets such as the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific countries.
About Dental Monitoring
Dental Monitoring SAS developed and launched the world's first remote monitoring orthodontic system and pioneered the use of AI in the field of dentistry. DM has applied for over 40 patents to protect its intellectual property developed in the remote dental monitoring field. Founded in 2013, DM launched its product in the French market in 2015 initially to acquire sufficient clinical data and develop proprietary dental algorithms to the required accuracy. In 2017, commercial sales commenced; DM products are now sold in the USA, France, the UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. With headquarters in Paris, France, and offices in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong, DM has nearly 100 employees.
The Straumann Group (SIX: STMN) is a global leader in tooth replacement and orthodontic solutions that restore smiles and confidence. It unites global and international brands that stand for excellence, innovation and quality in replacement, corrective and digital dentistry, including Straumann, Neodent, Medentika, ClearCorrect, Dental Wings, and other fully/partly owned companies and partners. In collaboration with leading clinics, institutes and universities, the Group researches, develops, manufactures and supplies dental implants, instruments, CADCAM prosthetics, biomaterials and digital solutions for use in tooth replacement and restoration or to prevent tooth loss.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Group currently employs 4881 people worldwide and its products, solutions and services are available in more than 100 countries through a broad network of distribution subsidiaries and partners.