iCAD and Solis CVD Alliance

iCAD and major breast imaging center company Solis Mammography announced plans to develop and commercialize AI that quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs) in mammograms to identify women with high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks.

Through the multi-year alliance, iCAD and Solis will expand upon iCAD’s flagship ProFound AI solution’s ability to detect and quantify BACs, with the goal of helping radiologists identify women with high CVD risks and guide them into care.

iCAD and Solis’ expansion into cardiovascular disease screening wasn’t exactly expected, but recent trends certainly suggest that commercial AI-based BAC detection could be on the way: 

  • There’s also mounting academic and commercial momentum behind using AI to “opportunistically” screen for incidental findings in scans that were performed for other reasons (e.g. analyzing CTs for CAC scores, osteoporosis, or lung nodules).
  • Despite being the leading cause of death in the US, it appears that we’re a long way from formal heart disease screening programs, making the already-established mammography screening pathway an unlikely alternative.
  • Volpara and Microsoft are also working on a mammography AI product that detects and quantifies BACs. In other words, three of the biggest companies in breast imaging (at least) and one of the biggest tech companies in the world are all currently developing AI-based BAC screening solutions.

The Takeaway

Widespread adoption of mammography AI-based cardiovascular disease screening might seem like a longshot to many readers who often view incidentals as a burden and have grown weary of early-stage AI announcements… and they might be right. That said, there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that a solution like this would help detect more early-stage heart disease using scans that are already being performed.

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