Volpara’s Lung Cancer Push

Breast imaging AI leader Volpara Health took a big step into the lung cancer AI segment last week, launching partnerships with Riverain Technologies and RevealDx. Here are some details.

Volpara & Riverain – Volpara and Riverain announced plans to integrate Riverain ClearRead CT (AI-based lung nodule detection) and the Volpara Lung platform (lung cancer screening reporting, tracking, and risk assessment), giving Volpara a market-leading detection partner and extending the clinical value of both tools.

Volpara & RevealDx – Within days, Volpara announced a $250k strategic investment in AI-based lung nodule diagnosis startup RevealDx, that will allow Volpara to sell RevealDx’s RevealAI-Lung tool (CE-marked, FDA pending) in the US and make Volpara its exclusive distributor in Australia / New Zealand. 

Not That Surprising – Volpara’s lung cancer screening expansion isn’t as surprising as some might think. Volpara first entered the lung cancer screening segment through its 2019 acquisition of MRS Systems, which likely targeted MRS’ breast cancer screening management software but also included its lung cancer screening platform (used w/ 8% of US LC screenings). Volpara also built its business around supporting population-scale cancer screening workflows and it has a long history of complementary partnerships within its breast imaging business.

The Takeaway – Lung cancer screening volumes are about to significantly increase in the US (and potentially globally), creating new bandwidth and workflow constraints, and driving demand for comprehensive solutions that support the entire screening and patient management pathway. With these alliances, Volpara, Riverain, and RevealDx are far better positioned to support that pathway.

Veye Validation

A team of Dutch radiologists analyzed Aidence’s Veye Chest lung nodule detection tool, finding that it works “very well,” while outlining some areas for improvement.

The Study – After using Veye Chest for 1.5 years, the researchers analyzed 145 chest CTs with the AI tool and compared its performance against three radiologists’ consensus reads, finding that:

  • Veye Chest detected 130 nodules (80 true positive, 11 false negative, 39 false positives)
  • That’s 88% sensitivity, a 1.04 mean FP per-scan rate, and 95% negative predictive value
  • The radiologists and Veye Chest had different size measurements for 23 nodules
  • Veye Chest tended to overestimate nodule size (bigger than rads w/ 19 of the 23)
  • Veye Chest and the rads’ nodule composition measurements had a 95% agreement rate

The Verdict – The researchers found that Veye Chest “performs very well” and matched Aidence’s specifications. They also noted that the tool is “not good enough to replace the radiologist” and its nodule size overestimations could lead to unnecessary follow-up exams.

The Takeaway – This is a pretty positive study, considering how poorly many recent commercial AI studies have gone and understanding that no AI vendor would dare propose that their AI tools “replace the radiologist.” Plus, it provides the feedback that Aidence and other AI developers need to keep getting better. Given the lack of AI clinical evidence, let’s hope we see a lot more studies like this.

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-- The Imaging Wire team