Dallas’ MedCognetics Gets $750K NIH Grant to Research Unbiased AI for Breast Cancer Detection

Last month, we told you about MedCognetics getting FDA clearance for its artificial intelligence-enabled software for breast cancer screening. Today, the Dallas-based company announced it has been awarded $750,000 from a National Institutes of Health program to research AI for breast cancer detection.

The NIH’s AIM-AHEAD program—short for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity—awarded the grant.

Dr. Jamboor Vishwanatha, Regents Professor at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth and principal investigator of the AIM-AHEAD coordinating center, said one of the main reasons for the program is “to address health inequities and disparities.”

“We selected MedCognetics as one of our grant recipients because of its focus on developing technology aimed at addressing the data bias of historically ignored populations, especially regarding breast health and imaging,” Vishwanatha said in a statement. “We’re encouraged by the company’s initial success and look forward to collaborating towards the mutual goal of improved healthcare, prevention, diagnoses and overall better outcomes.”

MedCognetics’s connections with UT Dallas and UT Southwestern

CEO Debasish Nag

MedCognetics was founded in 2019 on research that originated from the Quality of Life Technology Laboratory at UT Dallas. Its partnership with the UT Southwestern Medical Center provided the clinical data that helped MedCognetics validate its unbiased AI algorithm.

“This is a prestigious honor and the recognition validates MedCognetics’ mission to provide unbiased AI-enabled healthcare services around the world,” MedCognetics CEO Debasish Nag said in the statement. “The future of AI in healthcare is providing unbiased services and improving cost and efficiencies in medical facilities. We’re developing the technology that will unequivocally reduce burnout in the radiology community and in turn, improve patient outcomes across diverse populations. This NIH grant will play an important role in future product development as well as helping us further expand our global market penetration.”

AIM-AHEAD program aims to close gaps in AI/ML field

The AIM-AHEAD program was created to help close the gaps in the AI/ML field, which “currently lacks diversity in its researchers and in data, including electronic health records,” the consortium noted. It added that In the case of mammograms, MedCognetics’ product “reduces the amount of time a radiologist needs to review a case by 30% to 50%, which directly translates into more saved lives. This is especially vital in underserved communities and areas of the world where medicine and diagnostic imaging are scarce.”

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