Doctors, surgeons and medical professionals working with the spinal vertebrae could soon have access to medical imaging technology that would eliminate the need for excessive data processing manpower thanks to a vertebrae 3D imaging project being spearheaded by Singular Health (ASX: SHG).
The project is being developed in collaboration with the CSIRO under the research institutes’s Kick-Start program which provides funding and support to innovative start-ups, and access to CSIRO research and development capabilities.
Specifically aiming to use artificial intelligence to segment each individual vertebrae on a CT scan, the automation is aiming to take a process that takes several hours for support staff to execute, down to a simple 2 minutes. In doing so, medical professionals would be able to not only visualise the spine in 3D, but also manipulate individual vertebrae to better plan for surgery, implants and guides. In the event patients are in pain, this will significantly reduce their waiting times for manual processing and move to pain relief practices sooner.
“Singular Health has had the unique opportunity to access the deep-domain knowledge of CSIRO’s data scientists to develop this semi-automated instance segmentation and labelling of the spinal vertebrae,” said Singular Health Executive Director of Innovation, Dr Guan Tay.
“The use of artificial intelligence in medical imaging, and more specifically radiology, has the ability to profoundly change the workflow for radiologists.
“With around 45,000 Australian’s undergoing spinal surgery every year, the rapid segmentation will save thousands of hours for radiologists and surgeons who will only have to make small mark-ups and/or validate the segmentation as opposed to manual segmentation slice-by-slice.”
At present, once a CT scan of the spine is undertaken, it must undergo manual segmentation to identify and mark each vertebrae across individual CT slices, of which there can be hundreds.
This project aims to leverage Singular Health’s existing Volumetric Rendering Platform to process the slides which would then generate the 3D visualisation of the spine.
If successful in their project to develop this AI-powered imaging platform, Singular Health anticipates that surgeons and radiologists will be able to ensure 100% compliance with their interpretation of the image whilst still saving vast amounts of processing time
Earlier in the week, Singular Health confirmed it had received orders for 50 licences of their MedVR software from Lyka Smith, an established medical computer aided design company, which primarily operates in the maxillofacial market.