Imaging Technology Helps Shape Diagnoses and Medical Response to Illnesses

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 General News
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NEW YORK, March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Among the many segments within the medical devices industry, one of the most vibrant is that of medical imaging technology. In this market, various technologies such as x-ray scan, MRI, CT-scan and others are used to diagnose diseases and help doctors & physicians decide on the course of treatment. Similar to the medical devices industry, imaging technology growth is heavily dependent on technological advancements, the growing investments made by governments of emerging countries and on the increase of the geriatric population. A recent example of how technology helps transform the sector is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The use of AI technology in healthcare and medical imaging in particular has changed the way the diagnostic procedure is carried out. The AI assists doctors in both the image capturing process and the diagnoses of these images for the conclusion and personalized treatment of every individual patient. According to a report by Zion Market Research, x-ray devices contributed almost 27.5% of the total revenue generated by the medical imaging market in 2018. However, it is the nuclear imaging equipment segment that is expected to show the fastest growth in the years ahead, due to the on-going developments witnessed in new radiotracers and the rising prevalence of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, the global medical imaging market is expected to generate around USD 48.6 Billion by 2025 and at a CAGR of around 5.2% between 2019 and 2025. Imagin Medical Inc. (OTC: IMEXF) (CSE: IME), Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), Varex Imaging Corporation (NASDAQ: VREX), RadNet, Inc. (NASDAQ: RDNT)

In a recent demonstration on how AI can assist in improving medical imaging technology, China rolled out AI based systems that can process hundreds of computed tomography (CT) images in seconds to speed up diagnosis of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Innovation occurs in more traditional imaging methods as well. For instance, earlier in February, a study published in the journal Science Advances describes a new method to detect cancer in its early stages using a targeted MRI contrast agent that binds to proteins. According to the study, with current tests like biopsies, cancer in the liver is often detected in advanced stages, which can limit treatment options and lower overall survival rates. The new MRI method of could potentially have wide-ranging impacts, including more effective diagnosis and precision treatment, as well as less risk to patients. Georgia State University Regents' Professor Jenny Yang explained that "this is a game changer. It has the possibility to have many more applications, really for any type of cancer… We are already applying it to 10 different types of cancer in the lab… Diagnostic testing using this contrast agent can not only identify the presence of disease but differentiate the stages of disease with high sensitivity and accuracy."

Imagin Medical Inc. (OTCQB: IMEXF) (CSE: IME) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the Ticker (CSE: IME). Today, the Company reported, "on-going market research feedback on the i/BlueTM Imaging System which enables simultaneous viewing of white and blue light images during bladder cancer resection.

Since the American Urological Association ("AUA") Meeting in May 2019 where leading urologists observed simulated cystoscopy demonstrations, Imagin has continued to collect additional input on its i/Blue Imaging System from physicians in the United States and Canada.

The feedback has focused on the i/Blue's ability to display side-by-side white and blue light images simultaneously, which would enable real-time cancer visualization during resection. Surgeons would no longer need to switch back and forth between the white and blue light images to perform the surgery as the current method requires. This advanced viewing option has the potential to improve surgical technique.

Jim Huchens, the Company's President and CEO, commented, 'Since beginning our market research at the AUA meeting last May, we have received valuable positive feedback. We look forward to continuing our conversations with urologists at this year's AUA meeting as we move closer to delivering the i/Blue's benefits to the medical community.'

About Imagin Medical: Imagin Medical is a surgical imaging company focused on advancing new methods of visualizing cancer during minimally invasive procedures. The Company believes its first product, the i/Blue™ Imaging System, with its proprietary optics and light sensors, will greatly increase the efficiency and accuracy of detecting cancer for removal, helping to reduce recurrence rates. The Company's initial focus is bladder cancer. Learn more at www.imaginmedical.com."

Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) announced earlier last year that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 3DQuorum™ Imaging Technology, powered by Genius AI™. 3DQuorum technology works in tandem with Hologic's Clarity HD™ high resolution imaging technology to reduce tomosynthesis image volume for radiologists by 66 percent. In 2009, Hologic revolutionized breast cancer screening with the introduction of the Genius™ 3D mammography™ exam, the only mammogram clinically proven and FDA approved as superior for all women, including those with dense breasts, compared to 2D mammography alone. Today, there are nearly 7,000 Hologic 3D Mammography systems in use in the U.S. alone, and tomosynthesis is now the standard of care for annual breast cancer screening. These advancements serve as the foundation for Genius AI technology, Hologic's new core artificial intelligence platform designed to provide advanced cancer detection, operational efficiency and clinical decision support across the breast cancer care continuum.

General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) announced back in December 2019 GE Healthcare and Affidea, the pan-European leader in advanced diagnostic imaging, outpatient and cancer care services, have signed a multi-year agreement to deploy imaging and digital technologies across the Affidea network. GE Healthcare will install 200+ new equipment in Affidea's network of centers across Europe. The deal includes the provision of 60 new MRIs, 50 ultrasound devices, 40 CT scanners and 30 X-rays machines in the next 3 years. It also includes a six-year service contract. In addition, Affidea expands its collaboration with GE Healthcare in pharmaceutical diagnostics in all its geographies, to include Clariscan, GE Healthcare's new contrast media product, used in MRI exams.

Varex Imaging Corporation (NASDAQ: VREX) announced last month that it has entered into a renewed three-year pricing agreement with Canon Medical Systems Corporation effective for calendar years 2020 - 2022. "We are very pleased to continue our multi-decade long relationship with Canon Medical Systems and bring to their next generation imaging systems our portfolio of innovative X-ray based technology, which can accelerate time to market and reduce total cost of ownership," said Sunny Sanyal, Chief Executive Officer of Varex Imaging Corporation. Varex will continue to supply its computed tomography (CT) tubes and heat exchangers for integration into Canon Medical Systems' CT imaging systems for the global market. Potential product sales associated with this renewed agreement are estimated to be approximately USD 385 million over the term of the agreement. Varex also supplies Canon Medical Systems with digital detectors and high voltage connectors through separate agreements.

RadNet, Inc. (NASDAQ: RDNT) announced back in November that it has created a multifaceted partnership with Whiterabbit.ai utilizing artificial intelligence, other technologies and operational protocols to address solutions for breast cancer imaging. The partnership initially will focus on processes and technology designed to improve compliance of women with respect to their annual or bi-annual screening mammography exams.  The two companies recently completed a pilot program in RadNet's Delaware and Florida markets which combined the use of machine learning and patient outreach to bring women into RadNet facilities for their screening exams.  The trial substantially increased patient compliance, improved operational protocols and drove a level of customer service more similar to other consumer-facing industries. Dr. Howard Berger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RadNet, noted, "The partnership arrangement with, and investment in Whiterabbit.ai reiterates our commitment to position RadNet with cutting-edge technology solutions that we believe will transform our industry in the coming years.  We expect that machine learning, big data applications and automation algorithms will help us to deliver our services more cost effectively, efficiently and accurately, while enhancing the patient experience."

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