Artificial Intelligence

Philips Expands & Integrates Echo AI Platform

Philips’ ultrasound AI strategy took another big step this week, with the launch of its next-generation echo AI platform, which will come integrated with the company’s cardiovascular ultrasound systems and bring a range of new echo-automating capabilities. 

Philips’ new AI-enabled cardiovascular ultrasound platform includes a combination of established and first-to-market AI applications that come fully integrated with its EPIQ CVx and Affiniti CVx echo scanners, with a focus on speeding up echo teams’ cardiac ultrasound analysis.

The announcement specifically highlighted Philips’ first-of-their-kind…

  • Segmented Wall Motion app – an automated tool for segmental wall motion scoring and identifying disorders such as coronary artery disease and cardio-oncology issues.
  • 3D Mitral Regurgitation Volume Quantification app a tool for the automated analysis of MR flow dynamics, supporting valve treatment decision-making (not yet FDA cleared).

The platform also includes solutions for automated LVEF measurements, LV strain analysis, and the automated selection of the most appropriate LV images.

Philips has been developing echo AI solutions for some time through its ultrasound and Tomtec teams, and boosted its echo AI portfolio and development capabilities through its acquisition of DIA Image Analysis almost exactly one year ago.

However, this launch is perhaps most notable for bringing the “deep” integration of AI tools into Philips’ cardiovascular ultrasound systems, making AI a core part of its scanners’ feature set and value proposition, rather than an add-on.

  • That integration could be particularly notable from a usability perspective, and could also help drive AI adoption given the continued barriers experienced when selling / buying AI as standalone solutions. 
  • It might also be a sign of an echo AI integration trend, noting that GE HealthCare has been steadily expanding its Caption AI echo guidance solution to more of its echo scanners since acquiring Caption Health last year.

The Takeaway

With all the imaging AI acquisitions that have taken place over the last few years, Philips’ echo AI integration is a reminder why the only acquisitions made by the big OEMs targeted cardiovascular ultrasound AI solutions (no other indications or modalities). 

AI tools like these make cardiovascular ultrasound systems faster and easier to use, and scanner integrations like these might have a multiplying effect on echo AI’s adoption and overall impact.

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