RadNet advanced its AI-led cancer screening strategy, acquiring a 75% stake in Heart & Lung Health, a UK-based teleradiology network with a direct connection to the NHS’ lung cancer screening program.
Heart & Lung Health (HLH) has a network of over 70 cardiothoracic radiologists, and provides teleradiology reporting services for the NHS and a variety of UK hospitals and academic institutions.
Acquiring a UK telerad company might seem out of character for RadNet, which has historically focused its M&A on US-based imaging centers (and more recently global AI developers), only mentioned Europe once in its 2021 annual report, and exited the teleradiology business in 2020. However…
- RadNet’s future strategy places a high priority on leveraging AI to become the cancer screening leader.
- HLH is the leading reporting provider for NHS England Targeted Lung Health Check (TLHC), an AI-enabled lung cancer screening pilot program that might pave the way for a UK-wide program.
- TLHC requires all radiologists to use AI with their LDCT screening interpretations, suggesting that AI might also be required in a future UK-wide program.
- HLH uses RadNet’s Aidence subsidiary’s lung cancer AI tools, and HLH will work with Aidence to further develop its solutions.
RadNet started 2022 by acquiring two major cancer screening AI companies (Aidence and Quantib), which combined with its DeepHealth breast cancer AI business to support its ambitious new strategy to become a population-scale cancer screening leader.
That goal might have seemed like a longshot to some, given AI’s uncertain path forward and RadNet’s geographic concentration in just seven US states. However, last week’s HLH acquisition showed that RadNet remains very committed to AI-driven cancer screening leadership, and its strategy might not be as geographically-challenged as some initially thought.