Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Israeli Startup Zebra Uses Algorithms to detect and prevent serious health risks

Zebra unveiled two new algorithms to help diagnose and prevent serious metabolic and cardiovascular conditions. The company has already launched an algorithm to improve early diagnosis of brain cancer

Israeli startup Zebra Medical Vision raises $12m. Elad Benjamin Photo Eyal Izhar

 

Israeli Startup Zebra Medical Vision has unveiled two new algorithms to help diagnose and prevent serious metabolic and cardiovascular conditions. Zebra has already launched an algorithm to improve early diagnosis of brain cancer earlier this year, but they have now moved on to the rest of the body, utilizing cutting edge technical know how to interpret scans and other medical imaging.

Algorithms is a powerful Machine Learning. Just think about how Google uses this technology to predict what you’re searching for after you type just a few letters. Now, think of the massive, endless amount of medical-data that is collected each day all over the world through ‘data collectors’ such as blood tests, imagery, DNA, gene therapy, and more. If a company like Google can use data and machine learning to predict what we are searching for, couldn’t the same techniques help us predict diseases before there are even any symptoms?

Zebra is doing just that. The company has collected huge amounts of data imagery from hospitals all over the world to develop sophisticated machine learning algorithms that can analyse CT and MRI scans and discover diseases patients didn’t even know they had.

The company is officially announcing that it has developed a new algorithm to help predict cardiovascular events such as heart attacks. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke – it is responsible for nearly 500, 000 deaths every year in the US alone.

To date, the company has launched two algorithms, each with its own specialty. One algorithm focuses on the liver and can help find hard to diagnose conditions such as fatty liver and NASH; this can help caretakers prescribe preventative medicine and lifestyle changes to those in risk of escalating their condition, thus changing the course of the illness in a way that has not been possible before.

The second algorithm focuses on finding plaque build up in the cardiovascular system, which can prevent a slew of serious, life-threatening diseases and save countless lives.

The algorithms developed inform the medical team about the cardiovascular and metabolic state of their patients. Together they provide strong predictors for risk of heart attack and stroke, and this is only the beginning.

But the Israeli-based company is not done yet. According to the team at Zebra medical vision, these two algorithms, when applied to scans and radiology images together, can diagnose an even larger amount of potential illnesses, thus increasing their power to save lives even more.

Zebra Medical Vision aims to create 100 new insights in the next three years, so at the end of them, searching for future life threatening diseases for all of us, will be as easy as searching Amazon for the next book recommended to read.

It remains to be seen how caregivers will utilize this amazing new technology. Once medical scans and images are taken, the algorithm can scan them to find precursors that the human eye might not be able to see, but the course of action and medicine to be prescribed is of course still left to the caregiver’s discretion.

CEO Elad Benjamin had this to say: “This is yet another step in our mission to help provide faster, more accurate radiology services at lower cost, by teaching software to read and identify key clinical conditions in imaging. We believe that these tools, as well as new algorithms which we continuously release, will help Radiologists deal with the continuous pressure they face to increase output and maintain high quality of care.”

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