Advanced MRI software firm Imaging Biometrics has been awarded a U.S. patent for its artificial intelligence technology that erases the need for gadolinium-based contrast agents.
The Elm Grove, Wisconsin, subsidiary of IQ-AI—based in Britain—said its IB Zero G tool takes non-contrast scans and outputs synthetic images mimicking exams enhanced with GBCAs, according to a June 23 announcement. This automated software is still in the investigational stage, but is compatible with all MRI scanner platforms, the company added.
By eliminating the need to acquire contrast-enhanced images, radiology department productivity could increase, and patients wouldn’t be subjected to the alleged risks associated with repeated GBCA administrations.
“This patent underscores the major impact AI applications can have in healthcare,” CEO Michael Schmainda said in a statement. “IB Zero G has the potential to significantly disrupt routine clinical workflows on a global basis and help millions of patients receive higher quality and safer MR exams.”
Gadolinium is a critical agent for observing abnormal areas of internal tissues on imaging exams but it can stay in the body for extended periods of time. There are currently no known long-term adverse side effects for retained material, but certain individuals, such as those with kidney problems, are at higher risk for adverse effects.