Billennium, a Polish company providing IT solutions and services for business, accelerates work on the application of AI in medicine. The first project, using artificial intelligence and machine learning in diagnosing brain tumors, gives very promising results. In order to intensify its development in medical areas Billennium launches an investment round for Billennium Healthcare.
Billennium Healthcare’s mission is to create and commercialize AI systems in the areas of AI, machine learning, 3D modeling, blockchain and system integration used in diagnostics, therapeutics, drug development and bioinformatics. The company’s first ongoing project concerns the use of artificial intelligence in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of brain tumors. Since its inception, Billennium Healthcare has been working closely with specialists in radiology, neurooncology, with universities and clinical and oncology hospitals, is also a member of the Lublin Medicine Cluster.
– The potential of AI is almost unlimited and we are increasingly eager, as humanity, to try to exploit it, including in medicine. Prospects for development here are proportionally great to the needs. Thanks to the developed by us non-deterministic method of diagnosing i.a. brain tumors, doctors and patients will be supported by the diagnosis, prepared by artificial intelligence in real time, based on the experience of thousands of specialists – says Bartosz Łopiński, CEO of Billennium S.A. and Billennium Healthcare Sp. z o.o.
Importantly, the company wants to create solutions based on reliable and real images and clinical data that are developed by doctors and for doctors, rather than selected competition images. One of the experts working on the project is Marta Marek, MD, PhD, a practicing radiologist who supports medical aspects of radiological areas in Billennium Healthcare. The specialist sees great opportunities and benefits of using systems based on artificial intelligence algorithms in their daily work.
Undoubtedly, this is a breakthrough solution that will significantly facilitate the work of physicians, primarily radiologists, but also all persons involved in the diagnostic and therapeutic process. By obtaining an accurate analysis of the tumor, we will receive reproducible data that will enable effective monitoring of treatment. However, we should remember that the most important beneficiary of these activities will be the patient struggling with cancer – says Marta Marek, MD, PhD.
The possibility of precise imaging diagnostics, including structural assessment, is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors. Computed tomography (CT) and, above all, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are fundamental tools in the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of this type of cancer. These examinations are currently the reference methods in neurooncological diagnostics, with the MR method playing an important role in the diagnosis and differential imaging diagnosis of brain tumors. MR is a method with higher sensitivity and tissue resolution than CT, which allows for more precise characterization of the examined structure and more detailed evaluation of pathological changes. In addition, this method, unlike CT, does not use ionizing radiation (X-rays), which can cause adverse health effects with frequent exposure, which is important when performing follow-up examinations during the treatment of brain tumors.
Our laboratory research on the use of artificial intelligence mechanisms in the analysis of magnetic resonance images allowed us to validate the main concept of a system that enables the segmentation of brain tumors in MR images and their classification on a two-level aggressiveness scale. The obtained results were compared to leading solutions (state-of-the-art) in the MICCAI BraTS 2019 competition, obtaining a result ranking in the top three. The developed solutions will form the basis for a comprehensive system supporting the diagnosis of brain tumors – says Marcin Denkowski PhD, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Specialist for Computer Vision and Machine Learning at Billennium Healthcare.
The possibilities of precise diagnostic imaging using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are not limited to cancer. Currently, imaging of patients with Covid-19 is a very important area, both at the stage of diagnosis (e.g., images of the lungs) but also at the stage of monitoring people who have passed the disease (so-called survivors) and are struggling with its consequences.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been relatively well studied, but the side effects in patients are still relatively unknown. Currently, there are many scientific reports of neurological symptoms in patients with Covid-19, among which the main ones are inflammation of blood vessels in the brain (team of scientists from the National Institutes of Health) or so-called “brain fog”. Infected patients also develop strokes and neuropathological diseases. In such cases, the use of AI and ML solutions can significantly accelerate diagnosis and support neurologists in the rapid initiation of appropriate therapy.
The Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) market is very young. Intensive work is currently underway by both market regulators (American FDA or European EMA) and a number of medical organizations, foundations and patient organizations to regulate the legal aspects of the use of AI in medicine.
Whatever we create, if a therapeutic decision is based on our solution, we must always keep the best interests of patients and physicians in mind. We have a great opportunity to participate in one of the biggest digital revolutions currently taking place in medicine and biotechnology sciences. We are deeply convinced that Billennium Healthcare, supported by Billennium S.A. and equity investors, will be among the world’s leading companies implementing innovative solutions in the field of AI and Machine Learning in medicine and life sciences – says Mateusz Sagan, medical market expert and advisor to Billennium Healthcare.
Currently Billennium Healthcare is in the process of searching for investment partners who will support further work on the solutions. The company estimates the first round of financing at about PLN 9 million, which will result in the implementation of the first solutions dedicated to brain cancer diagnostics into clinical practice. Billennium Healthcare is also working intensively on a number of other applications of artificial intelligence in cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. In addition, the company plans to start activities aimed at using AI in diagnosing neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in supporting the development of innovative drugs and in research in the field of genetics and molecular biology.
Billennium is a team of over 1300 IT professionals, which has been providing innovative IT solutions for business since 2003. Their offices are located in Poland, USA, Malaysia and India. Over 17 years of experience gained in cooperation with over 100 customers has allowed to develop a flexible and optimal model of cooperation follow-the-sun (24/7/365).
About Billennium Healthcare
Billennium Healthcare Sp. z o.o. is a related company of Billennium S.A., which was established to implement innovative projects using artificial intelligence algorithms, i.e. machine learning and neural networks and 3D modeling in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, innovative drug development and bioinformatics.