Liver Physicians Pioneering National Digital Health Strategy with GE Healthcare
- November 06, 2018
GE Healthcare and Perspectum Diagnostics invest to develop scalable AI solutions to diagnose liver disease with MRI through a newly formed consortium in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
A key project for consortium will be utilizing AI in the early detection of iron overload.
UK Research and Innovation will invest £10 million as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in developing a national digital radiology and pathology infrastructure, with supplementary investment from GE Healthcare and Perspectum Diagnostics, to develop Artificial Intelligence and scalable MRI services to diagnose liver disease from primary care.
Liver disease affects up to 25% of the adult population in the USA and UK. Due to the invasive nature of current diagnostic and staging gold standard, biopsy, many patients are not diagnosed or diagnosed late. New MRI technologies, such as Perspectum’s LiverMultiScan, can help identify and monitor disease non-invasively.
GE Healthcare, a leading provider of MR services in the world, has invested in digital and AI solutions for chronic disease pathways to improve access to state-of-the-art healthcare.
Perspectum and GE Healthcare will now form part of the National Consortium for Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI), with a focused project on the liver and metabolic health. The development of AI-enabled tools that automate the assessment of liver iron load, will aid in the early diagnosis of patients with hemochromatosis, before they develop end-organ complications, such as cancer and diabetes.
Early detection can enable preventative action. James, a 26-year-old Information Security Manager, was found to have high iron levels. “Thanks to a chance LiverMultiScan, at aged 26, I found out that I had elevated liver iron. Following further tests, it was confirmed that I had Genetic Hemochromatosis (GH), which I’d never heard of. Since then I’ve learned a lot about the condition and feel incredibly lucky to have been diagnosed so early, before any symptoms. I learnt that the majority of people don’t get diagnosed until much later in life when a lot of the damage has already been done. Thanks to a quick and painless MRI I’m now able to manage my iron levels without medication and am unlikely to suffer any adverse effects from GH.”
Corrina Towers, Chair of Haemochromatosis UK commented “The work that the Innovate UK Grant will fund through the Oxford Consortium could literally be a gamechanger for the early and incidental diagnosis of iron overload and genetic hemochromatosis. As our newly published report ‘Living with the Impact of Iron Overload’ shows, iron overload need not impact mental and physical health nor impact the quality of life in the way it currently is because of delayed diagnosis. The use of AI to accurately measure stored liver iron will undoubtedly improve future outcomes for potentially hundreds of thousands of people, which is why Hemochromatosis UK is delighted to be involved and support this ground-breaking initiative.”
Professor Sir Michael Brady, Executive Chairman of NCIMI and Founder-Chairman of Perspectum Diagnostics, commented “We are excited to be working on projects alongside our industry partners which will positively impact patient treatment and patient pathways in the NHS by supporting the development and use of AI in healthcare.”
Notes to Editors
LiverMultiScan is FDA 510(k) cleared in the U.S. and CE marked in Europe. It enables non-invasive and quantitative liver tissue characterization to quickly and consistently quantify liver fat, as well as biomarkers which have been shown to correlate with iron and fibro-inflammation. It is a rapid and scalable technology that can be seamlessly integrated into existing MR examinations, without the need for contrast agent.
How it works:
Patients undergo an MRI scan on a compatible scanner – this takes less than 15 mins and no contrast agent is required.
The scans are sent electronically to a secure reporting laboratory to be quantified using a proprietary algorithm. The results are processed by clinical and imaging specialists.
The report is usually sent back to the referring doctor within 24 hours. It provides summary values of three biochemical characteristics of the liver as well as images that depict the health of the whole organ.
About Perspectum Diagnostics
Perspectum Diagnostics Ltd combines the power of digital imaging technologies and innovative software. We empower patients and the medical community through a greater understanding of liver disease, enabling earlier diagnosis and targeted treatment.
Perspectum Diagnostic’s flagship product, LiverMultiScan is CE marked by notified body BSI (designation 0086) and is US FDA 510(k) cleared via PMN K172685. LiverMultiScan may not be commercially available in all countries. For further details for more information, visit http://perspectum-diagnostics.com/.
About Iron Overload
The biggest cause of Iron Overload is genetic hemochromatosis, where genetic mutations cause iron homeostasis to malfunction, leading to iron overload, particularly in the liver.
Iron Overload is currently diagnosed and tracked through blood tests, though these can be unreliable due to various confounders (i.e. inflammation confounds the key iron-related blood marker, ferritin). Treatment is simple blood donation, as iron is required to generate new red blood cells. If left unchecked, iron can cause progressive damage, resulting in cirrhosis, primary liver cancer, and even diabetes and heart disease.
Jasmin Hounsell, Jasmin.Hounsell@perspectum-diagnostics.com US +16282390019