All form of visual information that doctors need to spot any disease or disorder that a patient might have is provided by medical scans.
But there are a few problems. The first being that very early signs of certain diseases, like cancer, might not be able to be recognized until its too late by human medical professionals and eh second problem is that these scans are expensive.
And these are types of problems with medical scanning that are being attempted to be solved by Zebra Medical Vision, an Israeli start-up. Reading a scan and detecting anything untoward before humans can with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms is the primary strategy of the solution.
With special emphasis into poorer emerging markets. the startup wants its product to go global. All of its algorithms will be available for use for $1 per scan, the company announced on Friday. So, hospitals will be charged $1 each time a hospital uses the algorithm to study a medical scan.
“The business model is aimed at all customers. We have initial customers that we informed will pay less than they are currently as we wanted a business model that can scale outside of the Western world,” Eyal Gura, chairman of Zebra Medical Vision, said in an interview ahead of the announcement.
“We recently scored accounts in Africa and India.”
Providing next-generation health care technology into emerging markets is the aim of the startup, Gura said.
By looking at osteoporosis, a fragile bone condition that is susceptible to fractures, Zebra recently did a test with the University of Oxford in the U.K. This is aimed at preventing secondary fractures only even though Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) runs a fracture prevention program.
Vertebral fractures, which Zebra said is missed 60 percent of the time, was detected by Zebra’s algorithm which was used by one of the leads on this program, Kassim Javaid. Some 95 percent of vertebral fractures from scans were discovered by the use of Zebra’s algorithm, Javaid said in a report.
According to Gura, talks about implementing the AI algorithm is being held with the NHS by the four-year-old start-up at present. The company is working on developing new detection algorithms even as Zebra’s technology can currently detect disorders such as lung disease.
Zebra Medical Vision is likely to face stiff competition from giants such as Microsoft, as well as newer entrants such as AIdoc Medical as it is not the only company in the space.
(Adapted from CNBC)