The partnership will research using AI to make better referrals for medical diagnostic tests, which could improve wait times and patient outcomes.
A new AI partnership has been announced today (25 March) between Irish healthtech start-up xWave Technologies and CeADAR, Ireland’s centre for applied AI research, to make medical testing more predictive and personalised.
Medical diagnostics such as radiology and pathology are vital for early identification of diseases and to help doctors decide appropriate treatment options. However, there is evidence that many of these tests fail to effectively help patients.
A publication review from the US Food and Drug Administration suggests that up to 50pc of high-tech imaging procedures such as CT scans may be unnecessary, as they fail to provide information that improves patient welfare.
CeADAR and xWave say this contributes to long waiting lists, delayed diagnoses, missed diagnoses and unnecessary radiation exposure. They plan to use AI to go through the vast amounts of data that the health industry creates to support clinicians in selecting the right test for their patient at the right time.
“It is estimated that 30pc of the world’s data is being generated by healthcare alone,” said xWave Technologies CEO Mitchell O’Gorman. “xWave and CeADAR have identified a way to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to unlock some of this data to ensure that patients are getting referred for the best test for them”.
O’Gorman said this AI method will factor in a patient’s lifestyle and medical history as well as seasonal, geographic, demographic and social factors that can have “a significant impact on patient outcomes”.
The NovaUCD-headquartered start-up has already built a clinical decision platform to support medical professionals when selecting tests for patients. xRefer is a referral referral tool for radiologists which xWave has developed in partnership with the European Society of Radiology.
“With approximately 80pc of health data being available in unstructured format, text and video, the use of machine learning (AI) techniques to analyse and learn from healthcare data is becoming a necessity,” CeADAR head of innovation and development Ricardo Simon Carbajo said.
“This project will employ the latest research in natural language processing and understanding to extract, label and analyse healthcare data to provide greater personalisation and prediction for patients.”
The collaboration is being funded through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme. The agency’s CEO Leo Clancy said Irish innovators are playing “transformative roles” in shaping the future of healthcare.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.