The diagnostics imaging industry has come a long way since the days of X-rays and CT scans – two technologies that have been around for decades.

Although they have not been replaced entirely, a breed of new ASX small caps have emerged over the last few years to improve on them, and also introduce new technologies.

Artificial intelligence, for example, is now being used and combined with old imaging techniques to identify neurological diseases, cancers, and treat fractures.

Smartphone devices are the new tools being used as screening platforms, allowing users to receive a diagnosis and professional medical advice on the spot.

Take smartphone-based medical imaging company, Advanced Human Imaging (ASX:AHI), which was previously called MyFiziq.

The company’s share price has multiplied by more than seven times in just one year.

Its technology, CompleteScan, uses an AI-based mobile app to analyse and monitor the user’s health conditions such as blood pressure and heart rate, and reports the results on the user’s smartphone.

It signed a deal yesterday with Inter-Psy to integrate the CompleteScan platform into Inter-Psy’s Health i Check platform.

Health i Check is a preventive screening platform available in the Netherlands on both iOS and Android devices, where users can receive real-time professional medical advice, as well as health tips.

The combined platform will be marketed by Inter-Psy to target obese people in the Netherlands.

“Providing at-risk individuals with early warning signs means less money is spent by insurers, payers and governments treating individuals with chronic disease, reducing the tax payer burden and impact on already overloaded healthcare systems,” says Vlado Bosanac, CEO of Advanced Human Imaging.

There are also other cutting-edge diagnostic imaging companies on the ASX, some of which have more than doubled in the last 12 months.

These ASX imaging stocks are mostly pre-revenue with products that are on the verge of being commercialised, and so valuations are based entirely on potential.

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Optiscan Imaging (ASX:OIL)

Opstican’s share price has risen by more than 700 per cent in the last 12 months.

Its flagship is the InVivage clinical device, which creates microscopic images that enable three-dimensional virtual biopsies of cancer cells.

The pre-revenue company has had preliminary meetings with the US FDA last year, and has commenced the testing required for the FDA submission.

It’s also currently conducting a study on the Viewnvivo endo-microscope on breast cancer patients.

The Optiscan endo-microscope enables real-time, 3D, ‘in vivo’ imaging of human tissue at the cellular level, and provides instant virtual biopsies for cancer screening enabling faster diagnosis and treatment.

Telix (ASX:TLX)

Telix’s share price has risen by 215 per cent in the last 12 months.

Its flagship technology is the investigational prostate cancer imaging product, TLX591-CDx.

The device is currently being tested in Japan as part of a collaboration between Telix and Kanazawa University.

The study has enrolled and dosed 10 patients, and is the first clinical evaluation of gallium-based PSMA imaging in Japan.

Telix will use clinical data from this trial to start discussions with various regulators within the Asia Pacific.

Micro-X (ASX:MX1)

The Micro-X share price has also been on a tear for the past 12 months, returning over 130 per cent.

The company is the maker of the much talked-about Rover, a mobile X-ray imaging device which only weighs 95kg, compared to the standard 400-500kg.

The device uses its patented carbon nanotube technology, with the FDA application being approved only 14 days after submission.

The company also makes the Carestream DRX Revolution Nano, a mobile X-ray device which uses cold-cathode technology and also weighs 95kg. The product has already been approved and sold in 14 countries.

The application for Micro-X’s products are many, and it is ambitiously pursuing the airport security, stroke detection and explosives detection markets.

EMVision Medical (ASX:EMV)

EMVision’s share price has doubled over the past 12 months.

It focuses on medical imaging technology used in detecting stroke, and aims to disrupt the stroke care industry in a world where two-thirds does not have access to diagnostic imaging.

Rather than taking the patient to the medical imaging device however, it wants to bring the imaging to the patient by using its portable, electromagnetic RF imaging device technology.

EMV says its aim is not to replace the CT or MRI, but rather to function much like ultrasound does, by providing clinically valuable information to healthcare workers, wherever the patient is.

This allows healthcare workers to intervene and make critical decisions earlier, when time is of the most critical.