An AI-based X-ray solution that can detect and alert medical teams of patients suffering from pneumothorax – a fatal condition causing air to escape into the chest from a tear in the lung – has received FDA 510(k) clearance.

HealthPNX is digital radiography trained using millions of images to identify more than 40 common clinical findings, setting a new bar for AI research in medical imaging.

Created by Israel-based Zebra Medical Vision, found in 2014, it uses AI to read medical scans with the use of different algorithms to automatically identify visual anomalies such as breast cancer, fatty liver and conditions such as vertebral fractures and brain bleeds.

Dr Terence Matalon of the Albert Einstein Medical Center said: “In a clinical validation study we performed, Zebra Medical’s acute chest X-ray (CXR) pneumothorax and CT Brain bleed products demonstrated a promising potential to substantially reduce turnaround time and increase the radiologist’s confidence in making these diagnoses.”


How can Zebra Medical AI-based X-ray solution help physicians reach a diagnosis faster?

AI-based chest X-ray solution
Pneumothorax remains a globally important health problem, with considerable associated morbidity and healthcare costs (Credit: Wikipedia/Dr James Heilman)

Failing a prompt management of pneumothorax, the slow or misdiagnosis of the condition can lead the internal pressure to cause the entire lung to collapse and other potentially fatal complications, which impacts around 74,000 Americans per year according to the British Medical Journal.

This complication is most commonly diagnosed by a chest X-ray scan, though it is one of the hardest to interpret and is known for high disagreement rates, even between experienced radiologists.

The medical imaging analytics company created the system to reduce the turnaround time in urgent cases and increase radiologists’ confidence in their diagnoses.

It said its All-in-One Triage Solution is the first of its kind for both CTs and X-rays, which currently addresses two acute conditions: Intracranial haemorrhages and pneumothorax.

The technology can help physicians reach a diagnosis more than 80% faster compared to first-in-first-out methods in emergency radiology – an inventory-costing method  which assumes that the first items placed in inventory are the first sold.

Eyal Gura, Zebra Medical’s CEO and co-founder said: “We are happy to add this important capability to our All-in-One package and add more value to busy radiology departments.

“Health providers across the US that already use the many Zebra-integrated PACS and work list systems will be able to easily deploy our triage solution and improve their patient’s care and outcomes.”