United Imaging Healthcare (UIH) held the Inaugural United Innovation Summit (uInnovation) in Shanghai on April 11, 2018. During the event, UIH unveiled the uAI platform, while the industry’s top experts gathered together to share their thoughts on how to shape the future of medical imaging.
Xue Min, the Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer of UIH, said in his speech that “Innovation is the driving force and foundation of UIH. Innovation requires the integration and cooperation of all forces. UIH hopes to build uInnovation into a platform for releasing UIH’s innovative products and technologies as well as an innovation platform for communicating forward-looking industry information and cutting-edge ideas, integrating innovative resources, and promoting collaboration.”
Xue said, “At uInnovation, forces in the industrial, clinical, and academic fields will join hands to form an innovation community so we can make more ideas a reality and explore further into the future.”
United Imaging Intelligence Presented the uAI Platform
During the event, Dinggang Shen and Sean Zhou, co-CEOs of United Imaging Intelligence, a subsidiary of UIH, showed up along with the subsidiary’s “Dream Team” to present the uAI platform. As an open AI platform involving different product lines, uAI will enable imaging and radiotherapy equipment and the uCloud to assist doctors with efficient and precise diagnosis and treatment. In addition, a friendly and open AI ecosystem will be built based on the uAI platform.
Dinggang Shen said, “uAI is a friendly AI platform that empowers a full line of imaging equipment, United Imaging’s uCloud, as well as doctors themselves. We will do our best to help our partners make friends with AI.”
Sean Zhou said, “We will bring in new partners to set up AI training classes to help doctors learn more about AI. We will cooperate with partners to create new AI products and help doctors be pioneers in the field of AI. We will open up AI platforms to support doctors in developing and releasing their own AI products. We firmly believe that only by allowing more doctors to join us and cooperate with us on AI development can we do battle against the tens of thousands of diseases assailing mankind.”
Dinggang Shen said, “AI won’t replace doctors, but doctors who know about AI will replace those who don’t.”
At present, United Imaging Intelligence has released 10 intelligent diagnostic applications including the uAI-equipped aortic VOI detection application and the uAI Smart Reviewer, as well as 3 intelligent advanced medical imaging devices, including uCT 528, uCS 1.5T MR and Intelligent Digital PET-CT.
- The uAI-equipped aortic VOI detection application is capable of automatically generating multiple VOIs on the human aorta, enabling automatic extraction of the curve for drug concentration in patients’ blood vessels over time from the corresponding PET images, generation of input data, and combination of different VOIs. This allows the application to serve both whole-body parametric imaging studies as well as special studies of key organs such as the brain, lungs, liver, and kidneys.
- The uAI Smart Reviewer, which is backed by data from 200,000 cases, carries out pre-reading of chest X-rays based on deep learning algorithms, providing highly-sensitive, accurate, and rapid screening and isolation of abnormal images. The uAI Smart Reviewer can highlight suspected lesions, information that gives junior doctors more confidence in decision making and offers greater efficiency for senior doctors.
- Based on United Imaging’s independently-developed 3D image deep learning engine, model optimization in uAI’s automatic organ outlining significantly reduces resource consumption during operation of the algorithm. With it, not only can doctors complete an organ’s outline in an average of 0.7 seconds without the need for complicated operations, but there are also significant improvements in accuracy.
- uCT 528, one of the 3 intelligent advanced medical imaging devices, helps boost efficiency in CT scanning scenarios. In the past, CT radiologists were required to go through complicated procedures such as position selection, patient positioning, and scanning range determination, which resulted in a heavy workload and inconsistent scanning quality. The uCT 528, however, can confirm the positioning of patients of different genders, ages, and scanning positions through facial recognition, enabling one-button automatic positioning. In this way, not only has efficiency been improved, but the accuracy and standardization of positioning is also guaranteed, ensuring overall diagnosis quality. At present, this application can handle 70% of body positions involved in daily CT scanning.
Latest Results from the World’s First Total-body PET-CT
In his opening speech, Xue Min shared the latest results from United Imaging Healthcare’s total-body PET-CT uExplorer, “We can clearly see the entire process of the radiopharmaceuticals’ circulation in test tubes, and the whole scan only took 15 seconds. These results are remarkable. They demonstrate for the first time that humankind finally has a device that can observe the body’s metabolism in real time!”
The world’s first total-body PET-CT scanner uExplorer was created through collaboration between United Imaging and America’s top molecular imaging team Explorer Consortium. Its aim was to meet the needs of top medical research institutions in the US and other countries. The prototype was completed last year, and it is planned to go on sale in China and the United States at the end of 2018. The uExplorer has been the subject of an online article in Science magazine and was featured on a 2018 cover of the American Journal of Nuclear Medicine. It has already been successfully installed in UC Davis, the world’s top research university, where it is currently in the clinical trial stage. It will help pioneering research into cerebrology and new drug development.
The CEO of United Imaging U.S. Subsidiary, Li Hongdi said, “The uExplorer’s sensitivity level is 40 times more, while its radiation dosage will be 40 times less, than that of conventional PETs. Its birth will boost the development of low dose child scanning, cancer micrometastasis study, immunotherapy, integration of diagnosis and treatment and other fields, opening a new door for human exploration of the mysteries of life!”
Bold “Innovation Predictions” Made by CEOs from United Imaging Healthcare
During the summit, CEOs of United Imaging introduced the latest products and core technologies from their platforms and made predictions about innovation in the future.
UIH now boasts a fully-fledged system product line ranging from clinical 1.5T MR and 3.0T MR to high-end scientific research 3.0T MR and multimodal PET/MR. In addition, it offers world-leading performance in magnetic field uniformity and magnet gradients. UIH believes that the next step in the development of MR will be greater speed, more practicality, lower sound output, richer clinical data, and higher field strength systems. As a result, UIH will be focusing on the development of advanced 5.0T whole-body MR and infant MR, providing clinicians with high-value bespoke solutions.
In the near future, UIH will launch Photon Counting CT and Sparse Sampling CT scanners, making accurate, quantitative and safe clinical applications a reality. Based on the currently-available CT-linac scanner, UIH will also offer integrated radiotherapy solutions such as RT and MR, broadening the clinical applications of radiotherapy. Based on its uAI platform, UIH will introduce compressive sensing and iterative reconstruction algorithms combined with deep learning to create a fully intelligent “robot” DR product that allows doctors to instantly acquire diagnostic reports simply with the push of a button on the scanner.
Top Industry Experts Shared the Latest Results of Collaboration with UIH
“UIH has provided a feasible platform for the research of TCM mechanisms, allowing the functional magnetic resonance study of acupuncture and moxibustion to really break through technical limitations.” Said Zhan Songhua, director of the radiology department of Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of TCM.
UIH and Shuguang Hospital jointly completed the world’s first real-time imaging experiments for magnetic resonance imaging for head electroacupuncture brain functions two years ago. Together they built a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) MR, combining an MR system with coils, sequence technology, and scan protocols specially tailored for the requirements of TCM. The TCM MR can be used for efficacy evaluation and mechanistic studies of Chinese treatment techniques such as full body acupuncture and tuina massages, and also provides a complete set of customized hardware and software solutions for a series of diseases where TCM offers advantages, including strokes, orthopedics, anal fistulas, and dermatology.
United Imaging’s uCS MR imaging technology is also helping partners to explore more possibilities for clinical research. United Imaging’s uCS MR can truly capture the dynamic inflow process of contrast agents, and has shed new light on the clinical application of contrast agents in liver cancer.
In addition, based on the high resolution of United Imaging’s digital PET-CT, the First Hospital of Nanjing has achieved diagnosis and treatment integration that provides a basis for the selection of radiopharmaceuticals, choice of treatment options, and evaluation of curative effects. United Imaging’s PET/MR scanners can undertake multi-bed, full-body scans and single-bed MRI scans, taking full advantage of molecular imaging’s advantages in the fields of clinical and scientific research and helping Zhongshan Hospital’s Department of Nuclear Medicine to make further advances in precision medicine.