Resonance Health enlists Artificial Intelligence for blood disorder solution
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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The average human body has three to four grams of iron — except if you have Thalassemia.
The genetic blood disorder causes an over-production of iron resulting in symptoms such a slow growth in childhood, jaundice and deformity of facial bones.
In severe cases, patients may require blood transfusions every few weeks.
Treatment can be tricky because doctors must constantly monitor a patient’s iron levels.
That’s where magnets come in. Iron is the only element in the body that can be tracked by magnets.
Technology from medical imaging company Resonance Health (ASX:RHT) allows magnets in Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines to measure the iron in a Thalassemia patient’s body — so doctors they can track how much iron they need to get rid of.
Right now Resonance Health’s procedure is costly and requires technical expertise from chemical analysts.
But the company yesterday announced a second round of testing for an artificial intelligence (AI) solution that might allow a rollout in emerging markets.
“In the treatment of these diseases there is a constant balancing act to ensure patients don’t have too much iron or too much of the drug to treat it,” chief scientist and founder Tim St Pierre told Stockhead.
“Using AI we can deliver a liver iron concentration at a fraction of the cost and ensure that patients in developing countries have a more accurate treatment option.”
Mr St Pierre compared the innovation to that of a diabetic needing constant monitoring of insulin to measure a correct treatment dose.
Thalassemia is hereditary, and is widely passed on through what is described as the “malaria belt” – the Mediterranean through to the Middle East, India and South East Asia.
Some 100,000 babies are born with the condition through that area each year, making it comparable with the likes of HIV or Malaria.
The AI technology would allow radiologist in some of the poorest countries to upload scans to a web-based program and receive an accurate concentration reading for a patient instantaneously – as opposed to the current turn-around of two business days.
“We admit the program might never get as good as our analysts. But it is better than the current treatment available and means we have an option for hospitals in Pakistan or Vietnam who cannot afford the top of the range,” Mr St Pierre said.
“It will still be better than doing nothing.”
Resonance shares rose 10 per cent to 2.3c yesterday, valuing the company at $9.3 million.