South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday November 24, 2020

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October 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 4


Digital Diagnostics: Committed to Ethical AI Healthcare

Digital Diagnostics was founded by Dr. Michael Abramoff to use technology to improve patient access to high quality care, save all stakeholders real dollars, and directly improve patient outcomes. They do this using artificial intelligence that is FDA authorized to remove the physician oversight from standard of care tests. This gives patients instantaneous results and immediate referral to specialty care for treatment. In doing this, providers practice top of license, payers save significant medical expenses, and the patients have demonstrably better outcomes. 

Their expanding platform enables the deployment of specialty care sensors into primary care and retail health. Using their patented biomarker-driven development process, they migrate specialty care previously offered in person or as telehealth to FDA authorized fully autonomous AI diagnostics. Its first ever autonomous AI was cleared by the FDA in 2018 for diagnosing diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. More recently, Digital Diagnostics acquired 3Derm who has FDA breakthrough status for its autonomous AI focused on diagnosing skin cancers.
“What distinguishes our company from the competition is our ever-expanding platform of fully autonomous AI, and our ability to take existing sensor-driven diagnostics from human cognition to AI-driven” said John Bertrand, Chief Executive Officer at Digital Diagnostics.
“This included designing autonomous AI algorithms that minimize racial, ethnic and other undesirable biases, uniquely accepting full accountability including legal liability for its AI performance, and ensuring that its AI’s improve patient outcomes,” Dr. Michael Abramoff says. “As such, democratizing access to high quality care is inherent in what we do and foundational to eliminating disparities in health care.”
Additionally, most healthcare AI companies focus on adding very small efficiency gains back into the system. With its solution making autonomous diagnoses, Digital Diagnostics genuinely adds time, resources, and taxpayer dollars back into the system, notes President and COO Seth Rainford.
“We also validate our AI’s in the frontlines of care including primary care workflow, to demonstrate real-world benefits to patients,” he says. “We wanted to be sure our platform AI’s fit with how providers already practice, rather than forcing them to change what they were doing to accommodate the AI’s idiosyncrasies.”
There are various ways to design algorithms for autonomous AI. The company’s patented approach differs from the others, as it starts with an analysis of how clinicians’ brains make their diagnoses, and then it can maximize the robustness and the performance of such biologically inspired algorithms.
“To that end, what we offer is not ‘black box AI’ but something that is explainable and yields very high quality, unbiased results,” adds Dr. Michael Abramoff.
One of the company’s newest technologies is its IDx-DR which helps to diagnose diabetic retinopathy and macular edema through an eye exam. IDx-DR is commercially available today and in many well-known academic medical centers and community hospital systems.
“It’s also in large group practices, FQHC’s, and in the retail setting, says Rainford. “IDx-DR is an AI system that allows any minimally trained high school graduate to take high-quality images of the patient and have the AI diagnose them, generally without pharmacologic dilation, for a total exam time between 5 and 10 minutes.”
After completing a rigorous prospective, preregistered clinical trial at primary care sites across the country, IDx-DR became the first FDA-cleared AI diagnostic system to make a diagnosis without physician input.
Its acquisition of 3Derm allows Digital Diagnostics to use telemedicine to do early diagnosis of skin cancers including melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. As part of the Digital Diagnostics autonomous AI platform, it also allows high-quality capture of skin images and a diagnosis in minutes, also in a primary care setting.
Looking ahead, Bertrand says that the company is focused on growing its install base and continuing to find strong commercial partners to build meaningful future AI’s.
“We have a lot of interest in our platform approach and will be adding additional autonomous AI’s to it deliberately, where we can improve outcomes, lower costs, and create better experiences for patients and providers,” he says. “Ultimately, we want to continue to find ways to democratize access to high quality care by automating routine tasks and enabling both providers to spend time on top of license work while also getting patients earlier treatment.”

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