Guerbet a global specialist in contrast agents and solutions for diagnostic and interventional medical imaging announced that it has signed an exclusive joint development agreement to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) software solution in collaboration with IBM (NYSE: IBM) Watson Health to support liver cancer diagnostics and care utilizing CT and MRI imaging.
Through this collaboration, Guerbet and IBM Watson Health plan to co-develop innovative, clinical decision support solutions. The first, called Watson Imaging Care Advisor for Liver, is planned to be a diagnostic support tool that will use artificial intelligence to automate the detection, staging, tracking, monitoring, therapy prediction and therapy response of primary and secondary liver cancer for clinicians. The IBM Research team will also work on development of the solutions leveraging prior research innovations.
Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and the fastest growing cause of cancer deaths in the United States. About 83 percent of primary liver cancer cases occur in developing countries. The liver is also a common site for metastases, particularly in the case of digestive cancers, in which nearly 50% of patients develop metastases. The hope is that better characterization and earlier identification of these metastases may lead to an improvement in the chances of recovery.
“Liver cancer is a growing health concern globally, and the use of augmented intelligence by medical imaging is well positioned to help address it. We are proud to work with IBM Watson Health to develop a solution dedicated to liver disease, which could help make it possible for clinicians to make more informed characterizations of tissue without recourse to biopsy,” said Yves L’Epine, Guerbet’s CEO.
Care Advisor for Liver will be designed to be compatible with the most common PACS visualization systems, making it easy to be integrated directly into the workflows of healthcare professionals.
“Imaging is a critical area of healthcare where we believe artificial intelligence can be used to expand the physician’s view so they can be more informed in their diagnostic and treatment decisions for their patients. We are excited to bring together the significant respective expertise of IBM and Guerbet to advance innovation in this important field, and ultimately help combat the challenge of liver cancer globally,” said Anne Le Grand, Vice President of Imaging at Watson Health.
Watson Imaging Care Advisor for Liver will be a part of a family of decision support tools powered by IBM Watson image analytics designed to inform radiologists’ diagnostic decisions for their patients. These offerings are being developed with a shared objective to create insights derived from IBM Watson image analytics to help inform clinical decisions.
“We look forward to working with IBM Watson Health on Guerbet’s first project aimed at better assisting radiologists with augmented intelligence. This will help us grow our capabilities in AI to enable innovative solutions improving care pathways.” said François Nicolas, Chief Digital Officer at Guerbet.
Guerbet is a pioneer in the contrast-agent field, with more than 90 years’ experience, and is a leader in medical imaging worldwide. It offers a comprehensive range of pharmaceutical products, medical devices and services for diagnostic and interventional imaging, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients. With 8% of revenue dedicated to R&D and more than 200 employees distributed amongst its centers in France, Israel and the United States, Guerbet is a substantial investor in research and innovation. Guerbet (GBT) is listed on Euronext Paris (segment B – mid caps) and generated €807 million in revenue in 2017. For more information about Guerbet, please visit www.guerbet.com.
About IBM Watson Health
Watson Health is a business unit of IBM that is dedicated to the development and implementation of AI and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest healthcare challenges including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more. Learn more at ibm.com/watson/health
 Care Advisor is not yet a formally approved product name.