The Institute - December 2021 - 66

earlier, come up with effective
treatment plans, and prevent unnecessary
surgeries due to false positives.
In May the company announced a
partnership with Quest Diagnostics to
develop software products that could
find markers of cancer that might not
have been known before.
" Our technology is truly transfor " Our
technology is truly
transformative, " Grady says.
mative, " Grady says. " It's going to help
pathologists be more efficient, make
higher quality decisions, and get faster
results back to patients. It will also
ultimately be less expensive for the
health care system. "
Paige's prostate cancer diagnostic
technology is the first AI product
designed for pathology or oncology
to earn a U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) Breakthrough Device
Paige is now seeking to use its
technology beyond diagnosis. By
training its AI to understand the
correlations between certain types
of tumors and the effectiveness
of certain drugs, Grady says, the
company hopes to be able to predict
treatment regimens for patients.
Having a meaningful impact
Grady's work is a continuation of
the ambition he has had since he
was a graduate student at Boston
University-of making a difference
in the world with AI. His Ph.D. thesis
focused on the application of neural
networks to image analysis. Neural
networks are an approach to machine
learning, loosely modeled on the
human brain, that can be used to identify
patterns in data sets. In the early
2000s, neural network research " was
on the fringe of AI, the black sheep, "
Grady says.
But Grady saw the technology's
potential for the real world. He joined
Siemens Corporate Technology, in
Princeton, N.J., in 2003 as a research
scientist, developing computer vision
software for the company's imaging
machines. He focused on medical
image analysis, extracting pertinent
information from scans of cardiovascular
and cancer patients that could
help with diagnosis.
But despite the success of those
AI-based medical analysis instruments in
" It's going to help pathologists
be more efficient, make
higher quality decisions, and
get faster results back to
patients. It will also ultimately
be less expensive for
the health care system. "
in-house tests, he " kept hitting roadblock
after roadblock " when trying to introduce
the machines into medical offices.
" They weren't getting used by
doctors, " he says. " They'd say, 'It
doesn't fit into the hospital's IT
system' or 'I can't get paid for using
them' or 'I don't have time to do it.' "
He soon realized that making
inroads with AI software would be
easier than selling a new hardware
system, so he left in 2012 to join medical
technology startup HeartFlow, in
Redwood City, Calif., as vice president
of research and development.
There he led the development of
a software-based diagnostic test for
coronary heart disease. Starting with a
cardiac CT scan, the technology used
AI and fluid dynamics to build a 3D
model of the heart, calculate blood
flow, and help determine if a stent was
needed. The approach allows doctors
to avoid more-invasive tests, he says.
" It's better for patients and
doctors, " he says, " because it's lowercost
and lower-risk. "
The technique, which has received
clearance from the FDA, is now used
by cardiologists in Europe, Japan, and
the United States.
Great opportunity
Grady joined Paige in 2019 because
of the opportunity it offered him to
impact the world with AI, he says,
with products that could transform
cancer care.
Cancer pathology today involves
examining tissue samples under a
microscope to make diagnoses. But
tissues and disease markers can vary
widely, so it's common for pathologists
to seek a second opinion or
conduct more tests.
Paige's technology streamlines the
process by digitizing it. The company
has exclusive rights to tens of thousands
of already-analyzed pathology
slides from Memorial Sloan Kettering
and has scanned them into its system
to create a database of high-resolution
images. The company's proprietary
machine-learning system is trained
to detect patterns in the images that
correlate with disease prognosis.
When a new tissue scan comes
in, the system can classify it based
on its training. Rather than phoning
a colleague or doing extra testing, a
pathologist can use the FullFocus digital
pathology viewer to make decisions
more quickly and easily, Grady says.
He and his colleagues recently
published results showing that Paige's
prostate test reduced diagnostic time
by about 65 percent, and it identified
prostate cancer in four patients whose
cancers were not initially diagnosed by
three experienced histopathologists.

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