Dr. Albert Hsiao, MD, PhD talks about Arterys suite of applications for clinicians via its cloud-based, web-enabled AI medical imaging platform which enables use and interaction with deep learning algorithms in real-time, augmenting the clinician and expediting image interpretation. To date, it has the first and only FDA approval for a machine learning application to be used in a clinical setting.
Albert Hsaio, MD, PhD, is the co-founder of Arterys, Assistant Professor In-Residence, Cardiothoracic Imaging at the University of California, San Diego, and Associate Director of Cardiovascular Research, CTIPM. As a physician-scientist-engineer, he focuses on developing new strategies for the diagnosis and intervention of cardiovascular disease and oncology.
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to this Health Supplier Segment here on Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, glad that you could join us. Our guest is Dr. Albert Hsiao, he’s a PhD and co-founder of Arterys, here to talk about Arterys’ suite of applications for clinicians via their cloud-based web enabled AI medical imaging platform. Welcome to the program Doctor, how are you?
Dr. Albert Hsiao: Very good, thank you.
Neal: Now I mentioned that you are a co-founder of Arterys. Give us just a brief background about yourself as a MD and PhD.
Dr Hsiao: Yeah. I’m as Assistant Professor here in Radiology at UC San Diego. I do primarily cardiovascular and thoracic imaging, a lot of CT and MRI. I am MD/PhD as you said here, trained actually also at UCSD in Bioengineering and Bioformatics and had a background in Computer Science and engineering from CalTech before I came here and and I did my clinical training after all that at Stanford in general surgery and radiology.
Neal: As co-founder of Arterys, what is it about your company that sets it apart from other similar companies, if there are other companies? What drove you to co-found this company and what are they involved in?
Dr Hsiao: Yeah. Arterys is a really unusual company. We have a very close relationship between two clinical co-founders, myself and my mentor from Stanford Shreyas Vasanawala and we’ve been closely involved in a lot of product development for improving the software that we use to analyze medical images. I think that’s been an essential piece of it, to try to develop more clinically useful technologies that can capitalize on all the computational power that we have now available to us.
Neal: Is there one type of imaging that you focus on over another? Are you improving software as it relates to any type of imaging?
Dr Hsiao: Wll we got our start with software for 4D flow MRI, a special technology that lets us look at the structure of the heart and the blood flow within it. That was a technology that when I was a resident up at Stanford, we really spent a lot of time trying to develop into something that we could use clinically. Shreyas had developed a lot of insights with something called ‘compressed sensing’ which allowed us to accelerate the MRI dramatically so that we could scan it in about 10 minutes and I had spent a lot of time on computer graphics and user interactive technologies so we decided to try to combine the two and develop some really nice software for analyzing that data. That technology, we ended up turning into something we used everyday clinically over the course of my clinical training there at Stanford and we built that as some of the foundational software that led to Arterys being founded.
Neal: Talk about some of the challenges that Arterys has been able to overcome for both patients and providers when it comes to imaging.
Dr Hsiao: Well yeah, so I think there’s a lot of as the software for or maybe I should take a step back, the imaging technologies that we have available to us are really fantastic. CT and MRI are constantly evolving, constantly finding new ways to capture more information about many diseases, about cancer, about cardiac function and cardiac disease. So what we’re finding it clinically is that we capture so much data, we’re not able to fully utilize it in our daily practice. I probably only use, it’s sort of like you use 10% of your brain for cognitive function. We’re only scratching the surface of what’s actually in the images themselves so in our daily practice and so what we’ve been trying to do and what we’ve been fairly successful at is software technologies that help us drill down see the most essential parts of those imaging technologies.
Neal: What about the patient experience?
Dr Hsiao: Yeah. So what’s amazing about the technologies that we’re doing, building is that they’re not only able to give us more information but we are able to now scan patients in far less time. The traditional MRIs for the heart used to take roughly an hour or two depending on how complex the exams were and nowadays, I can usually get most of the information with the new technology in maybe 20-30 minutes.
Neal: I know that sometimes imaging involves the anesthesia depending on the procedure. Is that still something that has to take place using your deep learning algorithms?
Dr Hsiao: No, yeah. So that’s yeah it’s an important thing that the things that we do not only advance the technology and the amount of information that we’re able to capture but what we’ve been able to do in the pediatric setting is a lot of our kids with congenital heart disease, we’ve been able to remove the need for general anesthesia because we were able to scan so fast. In our adult patients, they notice because instead of being there for two hours, they’re basically finished in half an hour and then they kind of ask me “Oh usually these take longer, what happened? How come we did it that with such a short exam?”
Neal: I know that we’re talking about software, we’re talking about cloud-based, web-based applications here. What about the patient privacy? Always a huge concern with patients whether young adult or someone up in years. How does Arterys navigate that complex aspect of patient information when it comes to imaging?
Dr Hsiao: Yeah, it’s a really essential piece of things. I think we all try to be careful with the data that we’ve had the privilege to work with. We have a dedicated system that we’ve built surrounding protected health information where we make sure that the identifying information is locked in a secure vault and separated from the images that we use to process and analyze. So the protected health information can be secured either within the hospital itself where it came from or in a secured vault in the cloud. So I think that both systems are good options for different kinds of hospitals but that’s basically the central tenet of what we do is it’s sort of like a physician’s role is to do no harm and benefit their patients. We kind of want to protect that information with the same mindset.
Neal: Talk about the support that you offer facilities as they transition from their current imaging technology and upgrade to Arterys’ applications.
Dr Hsiao: I think changing anything, especially changing how doctors behave and what doctors use for their diagnosis is a challenging thing because we tend to be set in our ways. But I think there’s more openness to the cloud nowadays than there used to be a lot of our electronic medical records have also shifted towards the cloud, but I think once people have tried it, they begin to realize the flexibility that they have. I’ve done some of my analyses of our cardiac MRIs or CTs from across the country, I’ve had referrals from groups and friends and in other places around the world where specific questions get asked and I’m able to help them without having to leave my house. So I think that’s one remarkable thing, it works just as well whether I’m at the site or if I am far across the country.
Neal: Well give us a website where our listeners can go and learn more about Arterys and about your suite of applications.
Dr Hsiao: So arterys.com is our main site and it lists a number of our different applications, the cardiac suite, the liver oncology and lung suites as well so I think they can certainly learn more about the whole platform and all the applications are being developed by the company.
Neal: Dr. Hsiao, thank you for joining us on the program today.
Dr Hsiao: Thank you very much.
Neal: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio in this Health Suppliers Segment with Dr. Albert Hsiao, I’m your host Neal Howard. Transcripts and audio available at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au