Advancements in Israeli technology: AI-assisted biopsy

Revolutionary AI Technology Saves Lives at Sheba Medical Center with Speedy Cancer Diagnoses

The new development at the Sheba Medical Center is a game-changer in the field of oncology, thanks to an artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by the promising Tel Aviv start-up company imagene. Founded in 2020 by three young developers – Dean Bitan, Yonatan Salah and Shahar Porat – the company has created an AI system that can identify countless characterizations of cancerous tumors within minutes, allowing doctors to adjust chemotherapy or biological treatment protocols specifically.

In the first phase, the Sheba Medical Center began applying the technology to cancerous tumors, after being pioneers in digital scans of biopsies that were previously transferred between laboratories on fragile glass. “Since we switched to digital scanning of biopsies, we can view samples even from home and from anywhere in the world,” explains Prof. Iris Brashak, director of the pathology laboratory at Sheba and chairman of the Israeli Pathology Association. “The digital scan allows us to give quick answers to patients even when we are not in the lab and consult with experts worldwide.”

The computers at the pathology laboratory now work overtime: after a digital scan of a sample brought from an operating room, AI begins its work by scanning thousands of algorithms to identify tumor characteristics and mutations present in it. Within minutes, doctors receive an indication of cancer type so that medical teams know what treatment and exact dose to give patients.

“Patients who came with metastatic lung cancer had to wait three weeks for genetic sequencing of their tumor,” says Prof. Brashak. “Now initial answers are received within a few minutes, which we check as a precautionary measure before forwarding them directly to oncologists for treatment decisions.” The advanced technology allowed doctors at Sheba Medical Center save lives by quickly identifying cancers and providing precise treatments.

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