breast cancer screening xray

AI mammogram reader approved for use in Irish healthcare system

Image credit: Dreamstime

An AI system that can help to detect breast cancer is set to be trialled in Ireland.

The tool, which is called Mia (Mammography Intelligent Assessment), helps radiologists to read mammograms by acting as a 'second reader' that could pick up signs of cancer that would otherwise not be detected.

The UK-based firm Kheiron Medical Technologies (KMT) developed the technology, which has now been made available across the whole of Ireland through medical supply company Hospital Services Limited (HSL).

KMT said its system was the first of its kind to receive regulatory clearance in Europe after several clinical studies and testing showed that Mia has learnt to read mammograms to the same level of detail as a consulting radiologist.

In double-reading mammography workflows where scans are reviewed by two radiologists, Mia can be deployed independently alongside a single human reader. This helps to free up clinicians to spend more time with patients. Mia can also be deployed as a concurrent reader or in double reader triage.

Mia is also undergoing multiple clinical studies across 15 sites in the UK as the NHS tries to increase its use of cutting-edge technologies.

Alex Hamlow, KMT’s chief commercial officer, said: “Our mission at Kheiron is to support breast screening professionals in the fight against breast cancer with proven and effective AI-enabled tools.

“We’re excited that Mia is the first AI independent reader solution available for use within the breast screening community across the island of Ireland.

“Based on its performance in the UK and Europe, Mia represents a major breakthrough in helping radiologists to dramatically improve breast cancer detection and patient outcomes.

“According to Breast Cancer Ireland, 690 deaths are attributed to breast cancer annually in the Republic of Ireland and 3,700 women in Ireland are diagnosed every year with breast cancer.

“In our meetings with radiologists and breast screening programme leaders across Ireland, we’ve had the opportunity to discuss how AI and Mia can help both radiologists and the women they care for.”

Dominic Walsh, HSL’s chief executive officer, added: “We are looking forward to bringing the Mia solution to the breast screening community throughout Ireland.

“It has tremendous potential to transform the breast screening pathway by empowering breast screening professionals to detect potential malignancies more accurately and quickly, ultimately saving more lives in the fight against breast cancer.”

In March, US researchers developed an algorithm that they said could ‘think and learn’ like a doctor which could be useful for administering diagnostic tests and disorders in modern clinical practice.

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