Arterys and Tempus’ Precision Merger

Arterys was just acquired by precision medicine AI powerhouse Tempus Labs, marking perhaps the biggest acquisition in the history of imaging AI, and highlighting the segment’s continued shift beyond traditional radiology use cases. 

Arterys has become one of imaging’s AI platform and cardiac MRI 4D flow leaders, leveraging its 12 years of work and $70M in funding to build out a large team of imaging/AI experts, a solid customer base, and an attractive intellectual property portfolio (AI models, cloud viewer, and a unique multi-vendor platform).

Tempus Labs might not be a household name among Imaging Wire readers, but they’ve become a giant in the precision medicine AI space, using $1.1B in VC funding and the “largest library of clinical & molecular data” to develop a range of precision medicine and treatment discovery / development / personalization capabilities.

It appears that Arterys will continue to operate its core radiology AI business (with far more financial support), while supporting the imaging side of Tempus’s products and strategy.

This acquisition might not be as unprecedented as some think. We’ve seen imaging AI assume a central role within a number of next-generation drug discovery/development companies, including Owkin and nference (who recently acquired imaging AI startup Predible), while imaging AI companies like Quibim are targeting both clinical use and pharma/life sciences applications.

Of course, many will point out how this acquisition continues 2022’s AI shakeup, which brought at least five other AI acquisitions (Aidence & Quantib by RadNet; Nines by Sirona, MedoAI by Exo, Predible by nference) and two strategic pivots (MaxQ AI & Kheiron). Although these acquisitions weren’t positive signs for the AI segment, they revealed that imaging AI startups are attractive to a far more diverse range of companies than many could have imagined back in 2021 (including pharma and life sciences).

The Takeaway

Arterys just transitioned from being an independently-held leader of the (promising but challenged) diagnostic imaging AI segment to being a key part of one of the hottest companies in healthcare AI, all while managing to keep its radiology business intact. That might not be the exit that Arterys’ founders envisioned, but in many ways it’s an ideal second chapter.

Arterys’ Platform Expansion

At a time when many major AI companies are trying to become AI platform companies, Arterys announced a trio of 3rd party AI alliances that showed how a mature AI platform might work.

Arterys Expands Neuro AI – Arterys launched neuroradiology AI alliances with Combinostics and Cercare Medical, expanding Arterys’ already-comprehensive Neuro AI suite (also includes MRI brain tumor diagnostics, CT stroke & ICH detection, 2D/4D Flow brain MRI). Combinostics’ cNeuro cMRI supports multiple neurological disorder assessments (specifically dementia and multiple sclerosis), while Cercare Perfusion automates brain CT and MRI perfusion map generation and stoke treatment decision making. 

Arterys Adds Breast AI – Arterys launched a global distribution agreement with iCAD, making iCAD’s full suite of breast health solutions available in Arterys’ new Breast AI suite. iCAD’s portfolio is certainly broad enough to deserve its own “suite,” ranging from 2D and 3D mammography detection, personalized risk screening and decision support, and density assessments. The Arterys Breast AI suite also makes iCAD available as a cloud-based SaaS solution for the first time (previously only on-premise).

Arterys Platform Impact – Arterys’ integration of multiple complementary AI tools within curated AI Suites is unique and makes a lot of sense. It seems to be far more helpful to provide neurorads with integrated access to a suite of neuro AI tools, than to provide them with one or two tools for every subspecialty.

The Takeaway – Arterys’ new alliances reveal a far more subspecialist-targeted approach than we usually see from AI platforms or marketplaces. It also shows that Arterys is committed to its vendor neutral strategy, effectively doubling its number of active AI partners (previously: Imaging Biometrics & Avicenna.AI in Neuro suite, MILVUE in Chest MSK Suite), while highlighting the value of its cloud-native structure for integrating new partners within the same user interface.

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-- The Imaging Wire team