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Subtle Medical awarded breakthrough patent for reduced contrast agent dosage in medical imaging exams

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | May 04, 2021 Artificial Intelligence CT Health IT MRI Ultrasound X-Ray
MENLO PARK, Calif., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Subtle Medical, Inc., a leading healthcare technology company using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the speed and quality of medical imaging, announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 10,997,716 for their licensed innovative software that uses deep learning to drastically reduce contrast dosage needed during contrast-enhanced medical imaging exams. The patent was invented by Drs. Greg Zaharchuk and Enhao Gong prior to co-founding Subtle Medical and is based on technology exclusively licensed from Stanford University. This marks another milestone in Subtle's mission to accelerate universal access to faster, safer, and smarter medical imaging.

Equivalent image quality shown after 90% contrast dosage reduction with SubtleGAD
SubtleGAD's ability to reduce gadolinium dosage by 90% addresses real safety and liability concerns

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Contrast agents are routinely used in over 100 million medical imaging exams each year, including MR, CT, and Ultrasound, to improve the visualization of anatomies and possible pathologies. "This patent recognizes our AI software as a fundamentally new solution that can significantly improve the visualization before and after contrast administration with lower doses of contrast than are currently used," said Enhao Gong, PhD, Co-founder and CEO of Subtle Medical. "As a result, significantly reduced contrast agent dosage can be used to obtain diagnostic information in medical imaging, enabling safer exams for patients worldwide."

Subtle Medical's vendor-neutral software derived from the patented technology, SubtleGAD™ (currently in the investigational phase), uses proprietary deep learning (DL) algorithms to achieve equivalent diagnostic image quality using only 10% of the gadolinium contrast dose when compared to MRI images conducted using the full dose. When lower gadolinium dosage is administered for any reason, SubtleGAD™ software can improve image quality, diagnostic accuracy, and lesion detectability.

The ability to reduce gadolinium dosage by 90% when combined with SubtleGAD™ software addresses real and perceived safety and liability concerns for patients and imaging institutions around the long term effects of Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) used in contrast-enhanced MRI procedures.

Lowering contrast dosage has the potential to benefit tens of millions of patients, including pediatric and neonatal patients, as well as patients with chronic neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) who have frequent contrast-enhanced MRI exams. Other potential applications include breast MRI studies, used for screening and diagnostic studies in patients with dense breasts, patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) or marginal kidney function issues who cannot currently undergo full-dose contrast-enhanced MRI, and other patients with concerns about gadolinium retention in the body.

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