Bringing AI and Genetics Together to Support Clinical Decisions

AI and genetics are two of the hottest disciplines in health care. Now, two companies---CorTechs Labs and HealthLytix---are joining forces to leverage both disciplines to enhance detection and monitoring of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. “The acquisition of HealthLytix is really exciting,” says Chris Airriess, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of CorTechs Labs, which will remain the name of the united company. “The addition of oncology focused imaging tools as well as genetics applications to our platform, will allow us to easily deliver these products to our worldwide installed base of over 1,000 clinical sites already using our NeuroQuant suite of products. This will help hospitals and imaging center networks avoid the hoops they have to jump through to get new AI solutions installed.”

Dr. Airriess points to HealthLytix’s RSI-MRI+ for Prostate, a breakthrough imaging software to help improve early detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer. RSI-MRI+ has received FDA 510(k) clearance for prostate cancer indications and is awaiting the agency’s approval for indications in brain cancer.  “RSI-MRI+ for Prostate is extremely useful for the assessment of prostate cancer and for potentially avoiding unnecessary biopsies. Even better, that technology is extendable into many other cancers including brain cancer, which will be our next approach,” says Dr. Airriess.  He adds that the merger reinforces the company’s mission of providing state-of-the-art technology to improve patient outcomes through early detection and disease tracking.

Nathan White, PhD, previously the CEO of HealthLytix and now Chief Technology Officer of CorTechs Labs, stated  that, “Genetics starts to answer a broader set of questions, not just for radiologists but for referring physicians. You need to understand who should get imaged, and when, and where needle biopsies should be placed.”  “Genetics is a source of information that helps us quantify and predict these questions. It broadens the scope of core imaging applications to be diagnostic decision support for referring physicians,” says Dr. White, who co-invented RSI-MRI+.

Eliminating subjectivity to improve diagnosis and tracking

Suzie Bash, MD, Medical Director of Neuroradiology at San Fernando Valley Interventional Radiology at RadNet, uses CorTechs Labs’ products to manage patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Bash believes HealthLytix products will integrate seamlessly into the CorTechs AI suite to eliminate subjectivity in diagnoses and improve patient health.  “I've been using CorTechs Labs’ products in my daily clinical practice for over 12 years now because they add tremendous value. Incorporating the HealthLytix solutions in volumetric tumor analysis, genetic screening, and their CT CoPilot application will broaden the clinical scope and impact of CorTechs Labs’ suite of AI tools in the quantitative volumetric imaging space,” she says.

CT CoPilot® is an FDA-cleared quantitative imaging solution that provides consistent views of head CT exams and automated quantitative measurements to improve workflow efficiency, measurement accuracy, and clinical confidence. The software is able to correct for sub-optimal patient positioning, improve conspicuity over time, and improve the measurement of change over time.  Dr. Bash also uses NeuroQuant, the first FDA-approved software for volumetric MRI processing, for fast, accurate, and automated brain image analysis, and LesionQuant, which provides quick automated lesion segmentation and brain structure quantification. The software segments and calculates the volume of different substructures of the brain and then compares them to a large normative database to determine the statistical significance of the volumetric measurements and enable longitudinal tracking of disease status over time.

“The CorTechs and HealthLytix products eliminate subjective components to add value to radiology reports which benefits both the referring clinicians and our patients. I believe it really makes our reports much more reliable, accurate, and objective,” she says.

Dr. Bash says the companies’ merger can also help improve assessments in the neuro-oncologic space, where accurately comparing manual measurements of tumor size between prior and current studies, can be challenging.  “All neuroradiologists are very familiar with the painstaking, time-consuming struggle we face daily with accurately assessing tumor size over two time points, particularly given multiplanar tumoral growth, as well as differences in slice sampling and head angulation,” she says. “I envision a future where it will become standard of care to use quantitative volumetric AI tools to aid in this process.”

Expanded products for innovation

Dr. Airriess says the newly expanded team will also allow CorTechs Labs to continue developing the company’s existing product line.  “The addition of the oncology product line is extremely exciting, as this really opens up a whole new area for us to work and allows us to bring our technologies to a wider group of physicians. But equally important, the expertise from HealthLytix will help us continue to advance PETQuant and other tools currently in development to expand our neurology assessment suite.”, he stated.  PETQuant™ automatically and rapidly analyzes PET studies to quantify subregional tracer binding in native patient brain space and registers to a T1 MRI to provide anatomical segmentations, thereby serving as an additional tool to evaluate neurodegenerative dementias.

As the understanding of genetics increases, Dr. Airriess and Dr. White see CorTechs Labs ultimately empowering physicians to make more accurate and more timely diagnostic decisions and redefining the intersection of radiology and clinical care.  “Genetics broadens the portfolio from radiology detection and quantitative imaging solutions to clinical decision support,” Dr. White says.  “It couples imaging biomarkers with clinical information in genetics to prove additional value to radiologists and referring physicians.”

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Bringing AI and Genetics Together to Support Clinical Decisions.  Appl Radiol. 

By McKenna Bryant| July 01, 2020

About the Author

McKenna Bryant

McKenna Bryant

McKenna Bryant is a freelance healthcare writer based in Nashotah, WI.

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