AI tool helps radiologists clear dangerous data bottleneck

By Brian Blum for Israel21c.org, December 11, 2018 –

The Aidoc team, from left, Michael Braginsky, Elad Walach and Guy Reiner. Photo: courtesy

It’s not every day that TIME magazine calls you a genius.

“They’re not calling me a genius,” Elad Walach protests. “They’re referring to the company!”

Walach is the 30-year-old CEO of Aidoc, a two-year-old Tel Aviv-based startup that is saving lives through medical imaging.

Aidoc applies proprietary artificial intelligence to the millions of images generated every year by CT scans in order to catch serious issues before a human radiologist even has a chance to review the results.

Aidoc has already received US and European approval to assess scans of brain hemorrhages and spinal fractures.

TIME included the startup on its list of “50 Genius Companies of 2018,” a prestigious cohort that includes well-known names such as Amazon, Airbnb and Apple (and that’s just the As).

Aidoc’s always-on AI software reviews CT results as soon as they come out of the machine. If an abnormality is detected, an alert appears on the radiologist’s screen immediately.

 “You gave me the peace of mind that there were no patients with a brain bleed waiting for their scans to be read.”

“The radiologist doesn’t have to click anything for this to happen; that’s why it’s being used on a daily basis,” Walach tells ISRAEL21c.

The need for a solution like Aidoc is only getting more acute. In its article, TIME refers to a “looming data thrombosis” where medical information is projected to reach a total of 2.3 trillion gigabytes by 2020.

Aidoc has analyzed 40 terabytes of data a day just in the last six months. That’s too much for human radiologists – but it’s the bread and butter of machine learning and computer analysis.

Walach says radiologists using Aidoc can reduce turnaround time by up to 60 percent. The product is now used in 50 medical institutions including large university hospitals in the United States and Europe. Sheba Medical Center in Israel was one of Aidoc’s earliest adopters.

Walach says that nearly 300,000 patient scans have been analyzed, saving some 50,000 hours of human work. Aidoc software detected 140,000 abnormalities and prioritized 46,000 cases.

With $13 million raised, Aidoc is growing fast. Although currently the software only works with CT scans, regular X-rays as well as high-tech MRIs will be added in 2019, pending regulatory approval.

Anonymous data

Aidoc charges clients an annual fee based on the size of the institution. “It’s not per scan,” Walach points out. “We don’t want our customers to worry about using it more or less because of the price.”

Along with clear benefits, the growing use of medical data brings concurrent privacy concerns. For Aidoc to work its magic, a patient’s scans must be compared with hundreds of thousands of existing images across dozens of computers running remotely. Walach says that Aidoc makes sure to anonymize all data it analyzes.

“The data is fully owned by the hospital,” he adds. “It’s uploaded to the cloud just for computational purposes.”

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