RadNet, the US-based leader in outpatient imaging, has acquired Dutch startups Quantib and Aidence. The two acquisitions will complement RadNet’s existing DeepHealth mammography AI division and help expand its AI technology to offer widespread cancer screening programmes.
Expansion of AI technology
Artificial Intelligence is disrupting medical screening technologies in an unprecedented way. The acquisition of Quantib and Aidence by RadNet is an attempt to further build on its fledgling AI product. RadNet provides high-quality, cost-effective and fixed-site outpatient diagnostic imaging services through a network of 350 owned and operated imaging centres.
With Quantib and Aidence under its belt, RadNet will be able to further build its future offerings with a focus on screening the three most prevalent cancers – breast, prostate and lung. An early diagnosis could save lives and with the acquisition, RadNet will be able to build an AI tool that is able to screen breast, prostate and lung cancers. The programme will also be used to detect early signs of cancer in patients, paving the way for treatment and cure.
RadNet has announced that Quantib and Aidence will join its AI division, which was formed after the earlier acquisition of DeepHealth in 2020. Since the acquisition, DeepHealth AI division has focussed on breast cancer screening and detection. The Dutch startups bring expertise in radiology artificial intelligence and clinical solutions for pulmonary nodule management and lung cancer screening.
As part of this acquisition, RadNet is also elevating Dr. Gregory Sorensen, President of RadNet’s DeepHealth division, to leadership responsibility for all AI initiatives, including those within Quantib and Aidence. With this new AI division, RadNet will be able to improve its development and deployment of AI to “improve the care and health of patients”.
Dr. Howard Berger, Chairman and CEO of RadNet, says, “We remain convinced that artificial intelligence will have a transforming impact on diagnostic imaging and the field of radiology. We are very pleased to expand our portfolio of AI software into two other cancer screening domains. With the addition of Aidence and Quantib, we will now have effective screening solutions for the three most prevalent cancers.”
“We believe that large population health screening will play an important role for health insurers, health systems and large employer groups in the near future. As the largest owner of diagnostic imaging centres in the United States, RadNet has relationships that can serve to make large-scale screening programmes, similar to what mammography is for breast cancer screening, a reality,” Dr Berger adds.
Quantib: What you need to know
Quantib is an AI startup based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and was founded as a spin-off from the Erasmus Medical Centre in 2012. It offers multiple AI-based solutions with both CE mark and FDA 510(k) clearance. Quantib Prostate for analysis of prostate MR image and Quantib ND to quantify brain abnormalities on MRI is used by customers in 20 countries worldwide.
Quantib Prostate summarises multiparametric MRI results into a “heat map” and enables faster and more accurate diagnosis of prostate disease. RadNet says that approximately one in every man is being diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 2,68,490 new cases of prostate cancer in the US in 2022.
The acquisition of Quantib by RadNet equips the American diagnostics leader with a technology that is capable of accurately diagnosing prostate disease. With Erasmus MC setting up two AI labs last year, the acquisition is a testament to healthcare AI technology being built by startups in the Netherlands. The Rotterdam-based startup is in the advanced development of an AI solution for MRI of the breast. This technology will be complementary to DeepHealth’s solutions for mammography.
While AI solutions are already making their way in imaging and diagnostics, Quantib leads there with its deployment. The startup deploys all of its solutions through its AI Node platform, allowing for efficient workflow integration and accelerated regulatory clearance of future products. Quantib’s management, including CEO Arthur Post Uiterweer, CTO Jorrit Glastra, and COO Quirine van Voorst will be onboard to lead the company as it enters the new phase.
“We are thrilled to join the RadNet family. Quantib aims to enable more accurate and efficient clinical decision-making for 10 million patients by 2030,” says Arthur Post Uiterweer, CEO of Quantib. “Being part of RadNet enables us to take a major step towards this goal. Our products, which are already received very well by customers, will see a tremendous boost in performance over the coming years to the benefit of all of our rapidly expanding global user base,” he adds.
Dr. Howard Berger of RadNet adds, “Prostate cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and MRI has been shown to have a critical role in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. While prostate MRI is a growing area of our overall MRI business, the opportunity to create a lower-cost, more accurate service offering to medicare and private payers allows for a conversation about creating large-scale screening programs for appropriately-qualified male patient populations, akin to how mammography is utilised today to detect and manage breast disease in women.”
“Quantib’s Prostate solutions further these objectives. Furthermore, Quantib’s commercialised products for brain MRI will be important tools for our business and could have an impact with monitoring Alzheimer’s patients, particularly those who will undergo some of the newer drug and treatment therapies being developed in the marketplace today,” Dr. Berger states.
Aidence: What you need to know
Amsterdam-based Aidence was founded in 2015 with the goal of developing and deploying AI clinical applications. The products offered by Aidence make it easier to interpret medical images and improve patient outcomes. If Quantib’s AI-based MRI makes it easier to diagnose a disease, then Aidence makes it easier for radiologists to interpret the data seen by them.
Veye Lung Nodules, the first commercialised product from Aidence, is an AI-based solution for lung nodule detection and management. The solution works by analysing thousands of CT scans each week and the startup has customers in seven European countries including France, the Netherlands and the UK. In 2020, Aidence was awarded an AI award for helping the UK’s National Health Service improve lung cancer prognosis.
With a team of data scientists, medical and regulatory experts, Aidence is further developing Veye Lung Nodules and Veye Reporting, its reporting platform for early lung cancer diagnosis. Data is key to improving the prevention, management, and treatment of diseases and Aidence builds a tool that makes it easier for people working in the diagnostics field to interpret this data.