FDA gives clearance to Philips for its AI powered MRI scans

The artificial intelligence software speeds up the process of taking scans.
Brittney Grimes
Philips MR scan.
Philips MR scan.

MR scan/Philips 

Philips received clearance from the FDA for its artificial intelligence MR platform that is used to detect cancerous tumors in the head and neck.

FDA clearance for AI technology

The company announced that the FDA gave clearance for Philip’s AI-enabled MRCAT radiotherapy. The clearance, also known as the 510(k) clearance, requires device manufacturers to register, and notify FDA of their intent to market a medical device at least 90 days in advance.

Using MRI instead of CT scans

MRCAT Head and Neck, short for MR for Calculating Attenuation, allows for the use of MRI as the main imagining modality without oncologists needing to use a CT scan. The AI software creates images that look like CT scan images, in terms of accuracy and resolution. The MRCAT takes less than three minutes to complete.

Incorporating AI with other features

The AI-enabled MRCAT allows the use of MR, or magnetic resonance imaging, as the primary imaging modality when using radiotherapy to treat tumors in the head or neck. The development, along with soft tissue imaging capabilities and high-resolution image quality of Philip’s neck and coil are incorporated with new comfort, positional accuracy and stability features of MacroMedics’ mask. The company wants the experience to be comfortable for patients, while also providing oncologists with accurate images and precise treatments for difficult-to-treat tumors.

“The superior soft tissue imaging of MR together with advances in the integration and orchestration of data, including the use of artificial intelligence, promise greater clarity and less subjectivity in planning radiotherapy for head and neck cancer,” said Ilya Gipp, chief medical officer of oncology solutions at Philips.

Philips' past AI interest and usage

Philips has shown an inFhealterest in combining AI with its health technology for a few years. In 2018, Philips began incorporating artificial intelligence within its company. It launched an AI platform called HealthSuite Insights that would deliver healthcare-specific tools to build and maintain AI solutions in healthcare. It was said to be the industry-first online marketplace that offered curated, readily available AI resources.

“The quality of your AI is only as good as the quality of the data you feed into it,” said Jeroen Tas, chief innovation & strategy officer at Philips. “We have designed HealthSuite Insights to be used by the people who work with patient data on a daily basis and have the contextual understanding, including doctors, clinicians and hospital managers.” The company, based in the Netherlands, hopes to give those who work in the medical field a simplified version of bringing patients’ information together using AI.

“With the HealthSuite Insights platform, we give them the ability to bring all the relevant patient information together, curate the data and use the power of AI to support precision diagnosis, personalized therapy, early intervention and greater hospital efficiency,” Tas continued.

The recent FDA 510(k) clearance for the AI-enabled Philips MRCAT was announced at the 2022 conference of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Artificial intelligence is making it easier for medical doctors to get accurate information about patients and allows for them to gather data in a quicker manner, as well.

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