South Bay startup uses AI to speed up cancer cell analysis

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Friday, September 29, 2023
South Bay startup uses AI to speed up cancer cell analysis
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Santa Clara startup Invenio Imaging is using artificial intelligence to speed up cancer cell analysis.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Getting results from a biopsy could take weeks; that's critical time that could be used to start cancer treatment if needed.

Now a South Bay startup says it's using AI to get those same results in minutes.

"You've probably been through this with yourself or a relative where the tissue gets sent in and it takes two or three weeks of waiting before you get a result," said Chris Frediger, PhD, co-founder and chief technology officer of Invenio Imaging in Santa Clara, "With this machine, we basically get it in a matter of minutes."

Getting that key information in a shorter amount of time can lead to a faster diagnosis and in turn, faster treatment, potentially saving lives.

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"Now with this technology, they're able to do this right there in the operating room in three minutes or less, that is a game changer for clinical care for taking care of these patients," said Dr. Mona Flores, Global Head of Medical AI for NVIDIA.

Advanced imaging technology by NVIDIA has been around for some time to help evaluate the tissue samples.

Through a partnership, Invenio Imaging was able to take the tech further, adding the AI to help bring the faster results.

But as Dr. Flores points out, it's not just about speed.

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It could also provide resources in places that don't have pathologists or other experts to read images.

"In those cases, you can imagine having something that is able to do triage in the beginning and be able to then send cases that need to be read that are more complex to specialists, which might not be available in the numbers that we have maybe here in the U.S.," she said, "I think it's going to change jobs, I don't think we'll be taking away jobs. Hopefully, it will just make us better physicians, and it will enable us to do so much more."

The AI technology is approved in Europe, here in the U.S., Invenio Imaging is still working on getting FDA clearance.

"We will be launching a big study right now in about 900 patients that will actually kick off in two weeks, Freudiger said, "So we're very excited about being able to do all the clinical studies that will allow us to get us the clearance in the U.S. and then extend the benefits of AI to patients here."

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