September 16, 2020 02:40 AM | Covington Associates
August 19, 2020 (Boston, MA) — Healthcare access and inequity challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; members of at-risk populations around the world are increasingly delaying important specialist care. Today Digital Diagnostics Inc., a pioneering global healthcare autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) company formerly known as IDx, announces it has acquired 3Derm Systems, Inc. of Boston, MA. This acquisition makes Digital Diagnostics the global leader in healthcare autonomous AI, where it is the sole holder of autonomous AI healthcare systems that are De Novo authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), enabling the company to close more care gaps widened by COVID-19.
Autonomous AI: Increasing Access to Specialty Care
This acquisition is an important milestone in the effort to use autonomous AI to improve healthcare quality, lower costs and reduce the suffering caused by disease progression. In “autonomous AI,” it is the computer, not the clinician, making the medical decisions, enabling patients to obtain diagnoses for serious conditions when and where they receive medical care. Obtaining an instantaneous diagnosis from frontline care physicians and other providers leads to better outcomes for patients, especially those from underserved populations.
The rebrand of IDx to Digital Diagnostics reflects its expanded platform of autonomous AI products in multiple medical specialties. The company’s flagship product, IDx-DR, was the first autonomous AI system De Novo authorized by the FDA in any field of medicine; it diagnoses diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. With the acquisition of 3Derm, the Digital Diagnostics platform will immediately include telemedicine capabilities for dermatology, 3DermTriage,™ in preparation for FDA authorization of its autonomous AI skin cancer diagnostic system, 3DermSpot™.
“There is too much needless suffering from treatable illnesses, and this happens more in populations that do not have equitable access to healthcare, and particularly to specialist physicians,” observed Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD, founder and executive chairman of Digital Diagnostics. “Our autonomous systems allow frontline care providers to instantaneously diagnose serious conditions, refer patients who need specialist treatment faster, and improve long-term patient outcomes.”
How It Works: Instantaneous Diagnosis at the Front Line of Care
Digital Diagnostics was founded in 2010 by Dr. Abramoff, a practicing, fellowship-trained retina specialist ophthalmologist, neuroscientist and computer engineer who developed a unique, patented biomarker-based approach to build AI algorithms that perform cognitively complex tasks. These algorithms are integrated into easy-to-use systems that can make instantaneous clinical decisions in which the computer makes the medical decision. To make instantaneous diagnoses, both IDx-DR and 3DermSpot use high quality images of the eyes and skin coupled with autonomous AI; the system is operated by existing primary care clinic staff.
Digital Diagnostics products are in use by the largest and most prestigious health systems in the U.S. and globally. The company works closely with patient advocacy groups, federal regulators, and other quality of care and ethics-focused stakeholders to enable adoption of autonomous AI. Milestones include:
IDx-DR is present in 17 global markets, including:
“By using Digital Diagnostics’ autonomous AI platform, 3DermSpot decreases the time it takes to put their life saving device in the hands of frontline care providers,” said John Bertrand, CEO, Digital Diagnostics. “Expanding the specialties our products cover allows our customers to use our platform as their one stop shop for autonomous AI diagnostics at the point-of-care.”
“By working with primary care physicians and other healthcare providers, we will reach more people and diagnose diseases sooner, closing care gaps for at risk patients,” observed Seth Rainford, President and COO, Digital Diagnostics. “This allows specialists to practice at the top of their license to prevent blindness and treat skin cancer.”
“Improving access and empowering frontline care providers was core to our mission at 3Derm,” said Liz Asai, former CEO & Co-Founder, 3Derm Systems, Inc. and now VP of Dermatology, Digital Diagnostics. “We are thrilled to continue our work as part of a larger organization focused on doing AI the right way, and that offers a broad commercial platform.”
Healthcare Autonomous AI the Right Way
Digital Diagnostics is committed to autonomous AI the right way: with an unwavering focus on improving patient outcomes, safety, efficacy and equity. The company has worked collaboratively within the healthcare and regulatory systems of multiple countries, including U.S. federal agencies, to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of ethical, evidence-based, autonomous AI. Digital Diagnostics adheres to the principles of autonomy, justice, and non-maleficence. This approach assumes legal liability for the autonomous AI performance; practices strong transparent stewardship of patient data; is designed and validated for equity, and focuses on improving clinical outcomes.