Israeli company uses AI to detect breast cancer, gets EU authorization

Israeli company uses AI to detect breast cancer, gets EU authorization, The application is web-based, therefore accessible from anywhere and analyzes biopsies’ slides.

Israeli technology employing artificial intelligence to detect breast cancer has obtained European Union approval, Ibex Medical Analytics announced Wednesday.

Tel Aviv-based Ibex was established in 2016 and is focused on developing AI solutions to cancer diagnosis.

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“Breast cancer is the most common cancer malignant disease in women, with several million cases per year,” Ibex chief scientific officer Dr. Daphna Laifenfeld said. “For this reason, both timely and accurate diagnosis is really critical.”

Over the past few years, an increase of breast cancer cases, as well as the development of personalized medicine, has led to an increased complexity in diagnosis, reducing the number of pathologists who are able to read biopsies, she said.

“This results in an increased workload on labs and healthcare systems, and this essentially means that there are more mistakes in the data,” Laifenfeld said. “Considering how serious and prevalent the disease is, it’s really important to have an application that can actually be used as an automated solution and a decision support tool for pathologists.”

Ibex’s Galen Breast solution aims to assist physicians in the task.

The application, which is Web-based and is accessible from anywhere, analyzes biopsy slides.

“When a biopsy is taken, to process it, small tissue sections are put on each last slide, which are then analyzed and reviewed by a pathologist, either under a microscope or digitally on a computer,” Laifenfeld said. “Our application works on these digital images of these biopsy slides.”

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The technology was developed using hundreds of such images. It is able to detect various types of breast cancer, including invasive and in situ carcinomas and to distinguish between different types of invasive cancer.

The CE mark was obtained after a clinical study carried out by the Maccabi Healthcare Services and at the Institut Curie in France.

“We are impressed with the successful study outcomes and performance of Galen Breast,” Anne Vincent-Salomon, Institut Curie’s director of pathology and the principal investigator in the study, said in a press release. “Our team demonstrated that Ibex’s AI technology goes beyond detecting cancer and provides accurate insights on the type of tumor, the nuclear grading of in situ carcinomas and more.

“I’m confident that artificial intelligence will support breast pathologists and provide a benefit to cancer patients across multiple segments of the diagnostic workflow and look forward to seeing this technology widely adopted in the field.”

The technology, which is already used in Israel and in other countries, has been ordered by several European medical centers, Laifenfeld said.

In the past, Ibex developed a solution to employ artificial intelligence to detect prostate cancer.

“With our application, we aim to transform the practice of cancer diagnosis step by step, tissue by tissue,” Laifenfeld said.

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