Health IT, Startups

Zebra Medical Vision rolls out patient-facing medical image analysis service

The company’s new service, for non-US markets, allows people to upload their medical imaging scans such as CTs and Mammograms to Zebra’s online service, and receive an automated analysis of key clinical conditions. The company plans to launch the service in the U.S. next year.

Zebra Grpahic4

The medical imaging sector is a hotbed of innovation. For providers, companies in this sector are harnessing technology to more efficiently share, store, and spot medical errors for images. But for patients, medical imaging businesses enable second opinions and consults with specialists.

Israel-based Zebra Medical Vision has positioned itself to support providers but has announced the launch of a patient-facing tool called Profound, according to a company news release.

The company’s new service allows individuals to upload their medical imaging scans such as computerized tomography scans and mammograms to Zebra Medical Vision’s online service, and receive an automated analysis of key clinical conditions, the announcement said. Those conditions include osteoporosis, compression fractures in the vertebral arteries, suggesting the presence of osteoporosis, fatty liver, calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, which could predict cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or stroke, and emphysema.

The point of the technology is to spot “incidental findings” often missed in routine exams and alert users so that they consult their physicians about these findings, a spokeswoman said in an emailed response to questions.

The service is currently offered for free as Zebra Medical Vision tries to show new users the benefits of automated imaging analysis, the spokeswoman added. Each new user is permitted to upload two free image scans.

“Users that upload a scan don’t mark a specific condition/body part to be examined, but, are getting their scan analyzed by the algorithms available on the platform. Also, while radiologists are highly involved in the development and training process of the algorithms, our algorithms are fully automatic,” the spokeswoman wrote.

Zebra Medical Vision’s Profound service is currently available in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern countries, but is not expected to be available in the U.S. until next year, a spokeswoman wrote.

Zebra Medical Vision CEO and Co-founder Elad Benjamin reiterated in the announcement that the Profound service is not intended to replace a physician.

“We urge anyone who is suspicious in any way of their health condition to seek professional medical advice,” Benjamin said. “But with Profound, we hope to empower users to better manage and understand their health, promoting a better discourse with their physicians, which will lead to better care for everyone.”

The launch of the service follows a $12 million fundraise earlier this year, led by Intermountain Healthcare. Other investors that took part in the funding round included Dolby Family Ventures, Israeli crowdfunding business OurCrowd, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures.

Zebra Medical Vision’s provider products support population management and risk assessment as well as a clinical decision support integrated in a radiologist  workstation, according to the spokeswoman.

Some of the other companies going after this niche include Candescent Health, Enlitic. GE and University of California San Francisco announced a partnership to do radiology image analysis earlier this month. IBM Watson Health is also seeking to be a significant player in this area through its Merge Healthcare acquisition last year.