A deal was penned between medical tech company iCAD and Google Health to use Google’s AI technology in iCAD’s breast imaging solutions. This is Google Health’s first commercial arrangement for its mammography AI models. iCAD will blend the technology into its clinical practice.
iCAD saw a 25% rise in share price after the news of the deal with Google Health broke. As part of the agreement, Google Health has licensed its AI technology to iCAD for breast cancer and risk assessment. iCAD will use the technology to advance its 2D and 3D AI algorithms. The developed products will also be commercialized by iCAD.
Both companies aim to improve iCAD’s breast cancer AI solutions and the accessibility to millions of females and global providers, according to the companies’ executives. iCAD will also be using Google’s Cloud setup to speed up the time to market for the company’s own cloud-based products.
Google Health’s head of health AI Greg Corrado wrote, “[I]CAD will work toward validating and incorporating our mammography AI technology with its products for use in clinical practices with the goal of improving breast cancer detection and assessment of short-term personal cancer risk for the more than two million people globally diagnosed with breast cancer every year.”
The crown for the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world now belongs to breast cancer, which has now surpassed lung cancer. The U.K. sees over 55,000 people diagnosed with the condition annually, and statistically, about one in eight women in the United States will develop the condition in their life.
The most common screening method is X-ray imaging. According to Google, the U.K. and the U.S. have a combined 42M exams performed annually. Early diagnosis still remains a challenge despite all the technology in this day and age.
Experts have stated that there is a scarcity of specialists in the world, which results in overburdening of the systems causing delays in results.
According to the CEO and president of iCAD- Stacey Stevens, the use of Google’s cloud and AI technology will enable iCAD to improve its breast AI tech and could possibly quicken the process of global adoption. She believes that combining both the companies’ teams and technologies will only have a positive effect on the lives of the affected women of the world.
Google Health’s initial work with clinical research partners was begun back in 2018 in the U.S. and the U.K. for the purpose of testing AI models to boost the detection of breast cancer. The initial findings were shared two years later in 2020, which showed better performance at recognizing the signs of breast cancer compared to radiologists. It could lower the rates of false negatives and positives.
According to Axel Grawingholt, a Radiologie Am Theatre (German) radiologist, many nations still use 2D mammography for the screening of breast cancer despite the global increase in the adoption of 3D mammography. He also said that even though the majority of European countries require double-reading for mammography, the shortage of field professionals makes it harder in a lot of cases.