Over the past decade, research has shown the potential toxicity of gadolinium-based products and how they are retained in the body for several years.
The compounds have also been shown to potentially induce nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in a small number of patients, particularly those with compromised kidney function.
IQ-AI, formerly known as Flying Brands, reckons it can eliminate the need for gadolinium-based contrast agents in MRI scans, saving healthcare systems money and avoiding the emerging toxicity concerns.
The firm’s invention is based on deep learning (DL) techniques – a form of artificial intelligence – using only non-contrast MR images as inputs.
“We are delighted to announce the filing of this patent,” said chief executive of IQ-AI’s operating subsidiaries, David Smith.
“We believe the potential exists to develop, for the first time, a contrast agent-free imaging technology that should generate output comparable to traditional contrast-based imaging, offering significant savings to global healthcare systems.”
He added: “We now intend to develop the technology and conduct the clinical work necessary to prepare for worldwide regulatory submissions.”