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Subtle Medical Awarded Federal SBIR Grant for Safer Fluoroscopy Exams

Subtle’s AI Aims to Achieve a 6x Reduction in Radiation Dose of Fluoroscopy Exams

MENLO PARK, Calif.Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Subtle Medical was awarded an NIH SBIR grant to develop an innovative artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software, SubtleIR™, which uses deep learning (DL) to reduce radiation dosage needed during fluoroscopy exams. The development of the new software is aligned with the company’s mission to accelerate access to faster, safer, and smarter medical imaging. Subtle continues to expand product lines in an effort to build a comprehensive ecosystem of solutions that support all imaging needs.

 Fluoroscopy is a common tool for image-guided interventions in 50 million surgeries performed  annually in the US alone. The new software will potentially reduce radiation exposure in the operating room, minimizing the  risk of cancer development for both patients and radiology staff.

“Receiving this SBIR grant will allow us to meet the demand for new AI applications that support image guided therapy and surgeries.  With this technology, hospitals and imaging centers will be able to deliver safer low-dose fluoroscopy exams without sacrificing the clinical quality of the images,” says Enhao Gong, PhD, Co-founder & CEO. “We appreciate the NIH’s support in the development of this novel AI product and look forward to deploying it in clinical settings.”

Subtle aims to enhance fluoroscopy videos acquired with up to 83% lower dose levels into videos with full-dose quality. This conversion will be performed in real-time, such that the surgeon can receive video feedback without delay while greatly reducing radiation exposure to both the patient and operating clinicians. 

In addition, Subtle aims to optimize the processing speed of these DL models by leveraging various software and hardware accelerations for real-time application to achieve over a 30 fps processing rate, which will enable a seamless integration between video capture and subsequent display. Recent research on SubtleIR’s technology was published at MICCAI showing a 4x dose reduction while providing equivalent or better video quality to the normal dosage level, as supported by quantitative metrics and surgeon review.

This is the second NIH SBIR grant Subtle Medical has been awarded. The first was for SubtleGAD™, an AI-based software using deep learning to drastically reduce contrast dosage needed during contrast-enhanced medical imaging exams. Subtle recently announced a collaboration with Bayer to explore potential new areas for contrast media use with the SubtleGAD™ technology.

Subtle Medical’s SubtleIR™ research is supported by the National Institute Of Biomedical Imaging And Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43EB031655. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. SubtleIR™ is an investigational product and is limited by federal law to investigational use. To learn more about SubtleIR™, please contact info@subtlemedical.com

About Subtle Medical

Subtle Medical is a global healthcare technology company with a suite of deep learning solutions, including SubtlePET™ and SubtleMR™, that increase the quality and efficiency of medical imaging. Subtle’s deep learning solutions are deployed in top academic hospitals and leading imaging institutions worldwide. It was named CB Insights Top AI 100 and Digital Health 150 company in 2020 and is an Nvidia Inception Award Winner. For more information, please visit subtlemedical.com or email sales@subtlemedical.com.

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