Philips partners with imaging biomarker specialist Quibim to launch next-generation AI-based imaging and reporting solutions for MR prostate exams

Updated on October 30, 2023

The combination of Philips’ leading AI-enabled MR imaging and Quibim’s AI-enabled image analysis software enables clinicians to deliver faster, easier prostate cancer care, to help mitigate staff shortages and lower the cost of care.

Approximately one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime [1]. Early detection currently relies largely on a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening blood test that may help detect prostate cancer early, especially for slow-growing cancers that never spread beyond the prostate gland. However, PSA screening tests also have poor specificity to clinically significant cancer, which can lead to many false positives and overdiagnosis. As a result, patients undergo painful biopsies that turn out to be negative, resulting in significant anxiety as they wait for their biopsy results complicated by an avoidable pathology workload.

While MR exams are generally more expensive and time-consuming than PSA tests, recent research [2] has demonstrated MR is a better triaging tool to guide biopsy decisions, as well as a valuable diagnostic tool to help determine treatment planning and personalized therapy. By reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies performed and enabling better-targeted therapy for prostate cancer that does need treatment, MR exams can potentially result in overall cost savings and faster, more accurate diagnoses for patients.

Philips is already leveraging AI-powered technology like MR SmartSpeed image reconstruction software, which helps build clinical confidence with 65% higher resolution and outstanding image quality [3]. Philips and Quibim have signed a multi-year agreement to work on an integrated solution including Quibim’s artificial intelligence (AI) based QP-Prostate software [4], to automate real-time prostate gland segmentation in MR images [5], generating meaningful quantitative insights, and standardizing MR prostate exam reporting. Combined with Philips’ leading AI-based MR imaging solutions, the solution aims at providing clinicians with the speed and precision needed to deal with the growing number of patients for which an MR prostate exam offers the diagnostic confidence and personalized treatment needed to drive better outcomes.  

“This collaboration with Quibim is the latest example of our commitment to building an AI ecosystem into our Diagnostic Imaging portfolio to help detect conditions like cancer earlier, improve the rate of accurate first time-right diagnosis, and streamline hospital operations to provide better care at lower costs,” said Ruud Zwerink, General Manager of MR at Philips. “The development with Quibim will ultimately be extended to address other forms of cancer beyond the prostate, where there is a need to improve efficiency and mitigate staff shortages while delivering high-quality oncology care to an increasing number of patients.”

“By combining Philips’ high-speed MR imaging and Quibim’s QP-Prostate software, we can provide the speed and diagnostic confidence to support all the different steps in an integrated diagnosis, treatment, and therapy assessment workflow. The upcoming version of our lesion detection algorithm will further expand the possibilities of MRI as a game-changer in prostate cancer screening [6],” said Angel Alberich-Bayarri, CEO of Quibim. “This integrated approach, combined with workflow enhancing features, will help mitigate staff shortages, high burn-out rates, and cost constraints currently being experienced by many radiology and oncology departments. Patients will also greatly benefit from far less complex and painful biopsy procedures [7] and more personalized treatment.”  

“Because of its sensitivity to diagnosis of aggressive tumors, MRI has become the cornerstone of the prostate cancer diagnostic pathway. We now need to improve its specificity to avoid unnecessary biopsies and its inter-reader reproducibility to allow reliable diagnoses outside of expert centres,” said Prof. Oliver Rouvière, Head of the Department of Radiology, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon. “Two of the biggest challenges facing any AI software dedicated to prostate MRI include the ability to demonstrate good specificity while maintaining a high level of sensitivity. Above all, we need to deliver robust diagnostic outcomes across different imaging protocols, magnetic field strengths and vendors.”

Philips MR solutions and Quibim’s QP-Prostate software will be demonstrated in the Philips booth (#6730) and the Quibim Booth (#6336) at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA 2023, November 26-29, Chicago, USA). For more information, visit Philips at RSNA 2023.

[1] American Cancer Society, Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

[2] https://bmjoncology.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000057

[3] Compared to Philips SENSE

[4] QP-Prostate is an FDA 510k cleared solution and a UKCA and CE mark (Class IIb) cleared solution under MDR.

[5] Jimenez-Pastor A, Lopez-Gonzalez R, Fos-Guarinos B, et al. Automated prostate multi-regional segmentation in magnetic resonance using fully convolutional neural networks. Eur Radiol. 2023 Jul;33(7):5087-5096. doi: 10.1007/s00330-023-09410-9. Epub 2023 Jan 24. PMID: 36690774. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36690774/

[6] Automated lesion detection is pending regulatory clearance and is currently only available as a research-only solution.

[7] Elwenspoek MMC, Sheppard AL, McInnes MDF, et al. Comparison of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Targeted Biopsy With Systematic Biopsy Alone for the Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(8):e198427. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8427

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2747475

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