Radio therapy

The researches find that the A University of Alberta spinoff company is hoping its new technology to analyze ultrasound images will make diagnosing health problems possible even from remote locations. “My vision is for a 21st-century stethoscope; a tool where you can look inside the body and use artificial intelligence to help people who are not experts interpret the images,” said U of A radiologist Jacob Jaremko. But Along with former U of A/Alberta Innovates post-doctoral fellow Dornoosh Zonoobi and Jeevesh Kapur; a radiologist from Singapore; Jaremko formed Medo. ai two years ago to develop and commercialize software that creates and analyzes 3-D images from ultrasounds.

Analyze ultrasound images

The company is focusing first on using its technology to diagnose hip dysplasia in infants. Therefore Newborns are typically give a physical exam to determine whether they have hip problems; but abnormalities can be easy to miss. When diagnose early; hip dysplasia be treat with a simple harness worn by the infant for a few weeks. Left untreat; it can lead to lifelong hip arthritis. “In Alberta; there are about four babies born with hip dysplasia per day.

And then on the other end of it; there are about two arthroplasties hip replacements do per day in patients younger than 65, people who have premature hip arthritis due to hip dysplasia;” said Jaremko; who holds the Alberta Health Services Chair in Diagnostic Imaging at the U of A and is also a member of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI).He said his goal is to eliminate the need for such surgeries by creating a universal ultrasound screening program for infants.

Three-dimensional images

Jaremko found that with traditional ultrasound; which takes two-dimensional still images, even a small shift in the probe’s location can lead to a misdiagnosis. The new system allows an operator with minimal training; to take three-dimensional images that are upload and compare with a large data set of other images to identify abnormalities and suggest a diagnosis.

Jaremko and Zonoobi gave medical students just one hour of training and find they are able to produce 3-D images as reliable as those produced by senior technicians. Jaremko says analysis of the images is make possible by recent advances in computing power that allow network computers to artificially mimic the learning function of the human brain. “This is a revolutionary thing;” he said; adding that other medical imaging methods such as CT; MRI and X-ray are easier to analyze than ultrasound but are not as portable. “Then you  really extend the reach of ultrasound and take it all over the world.”