Wednesday June 12, 2024

AI-powered cancer scanner Ezra to cut test costs by big margin

"We want to make booking your screening as easy as booking an Uber," said Ezra owner, indicating the kind of facility the company aims to provide

By Web Desk
June 02, 2023
This representational picture shows an illustration of a cancer. — Unsplash/File
This representational picture shows an illustration of a cancer. — Unsplash/File

A full-body artificial intelligence (AI) powered cancer screener, Ezra, that might save your life with early cancer detection, has received FDA clearance, accelerating and lowering the cost of the procedure.

Ezra examines the human body for potential cancer in up to 13 organs using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology and AI. Several other illnesses, such as fatty liver disease or brain aneurysms, can also be monitored by it, Fox News reported.

The New York-based company just gained FDA approval to use Ezra Flash, an advanced-level AI-powered scanner, to improve the imaging results of the scans, enabling quicker, higher-quality results at a cheaper cost.

"Our current 60-minute scan is $1,950, but with the new AI, the faster 30-minute scan will be $1,350," said Emi Gal, founder and CEO of Ezra, in an interview with Fox News Digital.

"Ultimately, our goal is to create a $500 full-body MRI that anyone can afford," he added.

Gal, who is at high risk for developing melanoma and lost his mother to the disease, was personally motivated to help people find cancer early.

"I strongly believe that the cure for cancer is early detection," Gal said. "The five-year survival rates are significantly higher for people who find cancer early."

According to Gal, while some cancers have very clear screening guidelines, most types don't have screening procedures available.

For most cancers, such as cancer of the pancreas, liver, or brain, Gal said that most people were not diagnosed until developing symptoms.

Ezra is currently used in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas. The company partners with existing American College of Radiology-accredited facilities where the scans are performed, the report said.

"We've scanned just under 5,000 people, and we've helped 13% of our members find possible cancer," Gal said.

He notes that physicians are increasingly referring their patients for Ezra scans, and while people love it, it is too expensive to do every year and needs to be more affordable.

"That's what we've been working on for the past year and a half now, and that's what this new AI will enable," Gal said.

According to Gal, AI automates radiologists' tasks, making them faster and reducing costs, allowing them to pass savings on to consumers.

"We want to make booking your screening as easy as booking an Uber," he clarified.

The AI also helps produce a radiology report and translate it into a clear format, and with the new Ezra Flash, radiologists can complete scans faster and improve the quality of images.

"Our ability to scan more people in the future will come from seamless, easy, and convenient access to any kind of screening," he said.

Ezra's MRI technology uses magnetic resonance as opposed to ionising radiation, but the risk of unintentional discoveries is the only potential issue. 

Furthermore, AI is used to generate reports that explain what each finding means.