CAD firm prepares virtual colonoscopy launch in U.S.

February 1, 2007

Italian computer-aided detection and imaging device company iM3D is slated to begin selling its CADColon iM3D system in this country this quarter. The company, which introduced itself to the U.S. radiology community in 2005 under the moniker iMED Medical Imaging Lab, is already selling CADColon in Europe and is awaiting approval from the FDA for marketing in the U.S. It plans to sell the product directly to customers but is also exploring relationships with imaging vendors interested in building its CAD algorithm into their workstations, said Alessandro Zuccato, head of sales.

Italian computer-aided detection and imaging device company iM3D is slated to begin selling its CADColon iM3D system in this country this quarter. The company, which introduced itself to the U.S. radiology community in 2005 under the moniker iMED Medical Imaging Lab, is already selling CADColon in Europe and is awaiting approval from the FDA for marketing in the U.S. It plans to sell the product directly to customers but is also exploring relationships with imaging vendors interested in building its CAD algorithm into their workstations, said Alessandro Zuccato, head of sales.

CADColon differs from other CAD applications for virtual colonoscopy that base their algorithms on only a small number of patient examinations, according to Zuccato.

"This product was developed in accordance with the departments of major centers for research on cancer," he said. "We have applied the software to studies covering the pathology of the colon in about 600 patients and are running a new protocol to test the validity of the system in combination with gastroenterologists. We should reach more than 1000 patients in the next six months."

CADColon is the result of four years of research conducted in partnership with two medical and scientific institutions in Italy: Istituto per la Ricerca e la Cura del Cancro, a cancer research and treatment center near Turin, and Fondazione Istituto per I'Interscombio Scientifico, a private foundation that supports scientific development.

The CADColon system consists of identification algorithms that locate and highlight potentially cancerous lesions, classify and provide comments about abnormalities, review suspicious areas for physicians, and issue an interactive final report.

The system also includes a high-speed workstation that provides a full view of the patient's colon study obtained in both prone and supine positions on a 24-inch high-definition flat-panel monitor.

"Through our collaboration with the research center in Italy, we could see what can be done to help radiologists make a diagnosis, when interpretation is time-consuming and difficult to perform due to looking at as many as 1000 images with the new CT modality," Zuccato said. "At the end of three or four examinations, the radiologist may be really tired and may miss something. This system by definition is never tired."