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A leap forward in AI-powered cancer diagnostics

Conceptual art copyrighted to HiEquity.ai

Delayed diagnosis of cancer is a critical issue in the healthcare sector, often leading to worsened prognoses and reduced survival rates. Statistics indicate that delayed cancer diagnosis can significantly impact patient outcomes. According to Cancer.net, early detection of colorectal cancer results in a 90% survival rate, but this drops to 14% when diagnosed at a late stage. These numbers underscore the urgent need for a timely and accurate cancer diagnosis.

Qritive, a Singapore-based startup founded on September 4, 2017, by Aneesh Sathe and Kaveh Taghipour, has emerged as a significant player. The company reflects Singapore’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Southeast Asian technology and healthcare sectors. Strategically located in a region known for technological innovation and healthcare advancements, Qritive leverages Singapore’s resources to develop AI-driven diagnostic solutions. This startup stands out for its focus on enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of cancer diagnosis through advanced AI applications in pathology. With its diverse founding team and strategic focus, Qritive is at the forefront of addressing the critical challenge of delayed cancer diagnosis, offering solutions for the early detection of various cancers, including colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Their innovative approach promises to significantly impact patient outcomes by reducing the rate of delayed diagnoses in these critical areas.

Pain point addressed

Qritive addresses a crucial pain point in pathology by enhancing various cancer diagnoses through its AI-powered solutions. It digitizes the entire workflow for pathologists, facilitating remote diagnosis and telepathology. The platform, Pantheon, allows for AI analysis of whole-slide imaging, aiding in the detection and grading of cancers. It also provides clinical-grade decision support systems for personalized patient care. Additionally, Qritive’s vendor-agnostic digital pathology platform promotes flexible and accessible integration into medical infrastructures, significantly improving the speed, accuracy, and affordability of cancer diagnoses.

Source: https://qritive.com/

Type of solution

Their solution is a software-based AI platform named Pantheon, which is a clinical-grade AI-powered tool. This software digitizes and enhances the pathology workflow, including features for remote diagnosis and telepathology. It utilizes advanced AI techniques for the analysis of whole-slide imaging, assisting in the detection and grading of various cancers. The platform is designed to integrate with existing medical infrastructure, is vendor-agnostic, and aims to improve the speed, accuracy, and affordability of cancer diagnoses through its sophisticated image analysis and data processing capabilities.

Type of input data leveraged

Qritive’s AI-powered solutions primarily leverage microscopic images as input data. The system features a whole-slide image viewer, which is designed to be feature-rich, user-friendly, and interactive. This viewer is integral to the platform, as it enables the interpretation and analysis of whole-slide images. These images are crucial for accurate diagnosis in pathology, especially for cancer diagnosis. Additionally, Qritive’s platform is built to be vendor-agnostic, meaning it can easily integrate with major Laboratory Information Systems (LIS), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and other hospital information systems, facilitating the seamless use of various data types and formats.

Key technology involved

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): These are central to Qritive’s technology, enabling the sophisticated analysis of medical images, particularly whole-slide images in pathology. AI and ML algorithms interpret these images, assisting in the detection and grading of various diseases, including cancer.
  • Computer vision: This technology is essential for the analysis of microscopic images, allowing the system to understand and interpret visual data from whole-slide images.
  • Integration with health information systems: Qritive’s platform is designed to be vendor-agnostic and easily integrated with major Laboratory Information Systems (LIS), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and other hospital information systems. This integration capability ensures that the platform can work seamlessly within existing medical infrastructures.

Key applications of solution

  • Diagnostic assistance: It aids pathologists in diagnosing diseases, especially cancer, by analyzing microscopic images with AI-driven tools.
  • Treatment planning support: The detailed analysis provided by Qritive’s system can inform treatment decisions, as it offers precise and comprehensive insights into the disease characteristics.
  • Remote diagnosis and telepathology: Its digital platform facilitates remote diagnosis capabilities, enabling pathologists to diagnose and consult from remote locations.
  • Integration with healthcare systems: Qritive’s vendor-agnostic approach allows for easy integration with various hospital information systems, thus supporting a range of administrative and clinical tasks within healthcare facilities.

Implications for key stakeholders

  • Patients: They benefit from more accurate and timely diagnoses, particularly for cancer. This leads to improved treatment plans and potentially better outcomes.
  • Healthcare providers (pathologists): The AI-powered tools enhance the efficiency and accuracy of diagnosing diseases, reducing the workload and allowing pathologists to focus on complex cases. It also opens up opportunities for remote diagnosis and consultation.
  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities: Integration with existing systems improves workflow efficiency. The digital platform aids in managing large volumes of data and streamlines the diagnostic process.
  • Researchers: Qritive’s detailed image analysis supports research in pathology and oncology, providing valuable data for studies and innovations in disease treatment and understanding.
  • Regulatory bodies: As an AI-driven diagnostic tool in healthcare, Qritive’s platform could adhere to regulatory standards, influencing policy and oversight in the deployment of AI in medical diagnostics.

Current impact

  • Qritive was selected for GE Healthcare’s India Edison Accelerator Programme, highlighting its potential as a promising startup in healthcare technology. It has collaborated with key partners like Singapore General Hospital, National University Hospital, Philips, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
  • Qritive leverages high-performance AI algorithms to create an interconnected digital ecosystem that assists pathology labs and pathologists in cancer studies, aiming to enhance the efficiency of cancer diagnosis, especially in the context of regional challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Its flagship product, Pantheon, digitizes the entire pathology lab workflow and provides a platform for automated AI analysis, reducing the need for multiple vendors in a pathology lab. This innovation has reportedly helped reduce pathologists’ errors, for example, a 9.4% reduction in errors in immunohistochemistry at Singapore General Hospital.
  • Pantheon’s vendor-agnostic nature allows for flexibility in integrating various microscopy devices, which is crucial for labs, especially those in remote locations with different levels of investment capabilities. This ensures a seamless user experience for pathologists, irrespective of the equipment used.

Potential future impact

  • Qritive plans to use its new capital to expand its reach globally. This expansion is critical as it allows Qritive to bring its AI-driven diagnostic solutions to a broader audience, particularly in regions with a high prevalence of cancer.
  • The company intends to expand its product portfolio and support regulatory clearances. This expansion includes developing new AI modules and tools for different types of cancer diagnosis and other diseases, further enhancing the capabilities of its platform.

Business model

The platform’s integration into existing laboratory systems and its application across several hospitals and pathology labs globally suggest a business-to-business (B2B) model where Qritive’s solutions are offered directly to healthcare institutions.

The advantages of this business model include the following:

  • Enhancing efficiency and accuracy in pathology labs.
  • Allowing flexibility and ease of integration with existing systems.
  • Improving diagnostic confidence in complex cases like cancer.

Funding and key investors

As of January 9, 2023, the company has successfully raised a total of $9 million over six funding rounds, with the latest being a Series A round. Key investors in Qritive include Entrepreneur First, SGInnovate, MMV Europe & Asia-Pacific, and Pix Vine Capital.

Competitive differentiator

  • Qritive’s platform is uniquely vendor-agnostic, which means it can easily integrate with a variety of existing healthcare systems. This adaptability is a significant innovation, allowing the platform to be compatible with different electronic medical record systems, imaging software, and other diagnostic tools. This seamless integration is vital for ensuring that healthcare providers can adopt Qritive’s technology without disrupting their current workflows or needing extensive system overhauls. Additionally, Qritive’s AI modules are tailored for specific cancer types, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. This specialization not only enhances the platform’s utility but also significantly improves the accuracy of cancer diagnoses, ensuring that patients receive more precise and effective treatment plans.
  • Qritive’s competitive edge is characterized by its clinical-grade AI-powered solutions, comprehensive digitization of pathology workflows, vendor-agnostic platform, and specialized AI modules for various cancer types.
  • The company’s focus on high-precision, reliable AI tailored for clinical use sets it apart from generic AI solutions. Its end-to-end digitization of the pathology process, encompassing everything from case management to report generation, offers a holistic solution unlike many of its competitors.
  • Qritive’s platform is designed with a user-friendly interface that simplifies complex diagnostic processes. For example, the interface might present AI-analyzed pathology images alongside key diagnostic indicators, making it easier for pathologists to interpret and confirm results. Interactive elements such as zoom, annotation, and comparison features allow medical professionals to engage with the data more intuitively. This ease of use reduces the learning curve for new users and enhances the overall efficiency of the diagnostic process. By prioritizing a user-friendly design, Qritive ensures that its advanced AI capabilities are accessible and beneficial to a wide range of healthcare professionals, regardless of their technical expertise.

Regulatory and compliance status

Qritive is certified for ISO 13485, an international standard for the Quality Management System (QMS) of medical device companies. This certification empowers Qritive to design, develop, manufacture, distribute, and install pathology solutions worldwide. ISO 13485 certification indicates a commitment to maintaining quality standards in the development and manufacturing of medical devices, which is a critical aspect of regulatory compliance in the healthcare sector.

Partnerships and collaborations

Qritive has established strategic partnerships with several leading technology and healthcare companies, significantly enhancing its capabilities in digital pathology. These include Dell, Nvidia, Amazon Web Services, Hamamatsu, Philips, and GE Healthcare.

Areas for continuous improvement

  • Qritive could keep refining and validating the AI algorithms to ensure high accuracy and reliability, especially in complex and rare case scenarios.
  • Continuously refining the user interface to ensure it is intuitive and user-friendly for pathologists and healthcare professionals, which could increase adoption rates.




Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions, content, and analysis in my posts are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of any current or past employers or institutional affiliations. These posts, based solely on publicly available information, are for informational purposes and should not be taken as professional advice. All insights and conclusions are my viewpoints and should not be considered representative of any organizations I am or have been associated with. This content is not endorsed by, nor does it represent the stance of any affiliated entity.


Hiequity Team

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