An estimated 2.2 million new lung cancer cases are diagnosed each year and accounts for 25% of all cancer deaths annually. Despite improved medical technology and increased lung cancer screening, 5-year survival remains less than 20% in the United States and only 10% worldwide. Lung cancer often goes undiagnosed in the early stages, contributing to the high mortality rates.
The least invasive technique for definitively diagnosing lung cancer is a lung nodule biopsy via diagnostic bronchoscopy. While this method is minimally invasive, the diagnostic success rate generally does not exceed 70% due to the lack of intraoperative imaging.
LungVision™ by Body Vision Medical uses AI-driven algorithms to transform 2D X-ray images from any C-arm – a piece of X-ray imaging equipment accessible to every bronchoscopist – into intraoperative 3D CT scans in real-time. This enables clinicians performing diagnostic bronchoscopy to see where the lesion is so that they can more accurately navigate to the lesion, perform a biopsy and, when needed, to make informed clinical decisions during the procedure. Bronchoscopists can thus biopsy from smaller, more difficult-to-access lung lesions at an earlier stage, dramatically increasing the likelihood of an early diagnosis for lung cancer patients and improving the odds of survival.
Body Vision, founded in 2014, strives to save lives through the democratization of innovative medical technology. “We believe we can improve on the Quintuple Aim of Healthcare by harnessing the power of AI to provide clinicians with the real-time, intraoperative imaging they need to improve procedural accuracy, drive better patient outcomes, and reduce overall operating costs,” informs David Webster, CEO.
With the entire healthcare sector struggling with rising costs, there is an undeniable affinity toward more economical options. Body Vision Medical’s conscious decision to develop LungVision™ as a cost-effective solution that is accessible to a majority of healthcare institutions and patients is in recognition of this challenge.
Some of the top institutions that Body Vision counts among their customers include The Cleveland Clinic, University of Chicago Medical Center, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the European Institute of Oncology in Italy, Yashoda Hospitals in India, and the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS). Hospitals with an interventional pulmonology or thoracic surgery program that perform a meaningful number of diagnostic bronchoscopies are potential customers.
One key differentiating aspect is the way Body Vision leverages AI and their expertise in imaging to develop solutions that have definite clinical benefits yet cost less than competing solutions.
For example, the first application of Body Vision’s AI-powered real-time image guidance technology is in the pulmonology space and is called LungVision™. It helps drive superior clinical outcomes in the lung nodule biopsy space by providing advanced navigation and cutting-edge intraoperative imaging at a significantly reduced cost both from a per-case as well as total cost of ownership perspective. Consequently, the medical world gets a navigation and imaging solution that is more advanced than many of its peers yet cost-effectiveenough to be a viable solution for rural and community hospitals in the US and healthcare institutions outside the US.
Dr. Sean Stoy and Respiratory Consultants, the physician group providing pulmonology and critical care services at North Memorial Health Hospital Robbinsville, Minnesota had aspirations of creating a world-class lung nodule program. However, the hospital administration was unwilling to invest in high-ticket medical technology for a burgeoning IP program with a limited track record.
In 2021, the physicians convinced the hospital to replace the aging electromagnetic navigation technology they had been using with LungVision,™ as it combined the latest in image-guided navigation and real-time intraoperative imaging into a single platform.
LungVision™ gave the clinicians confidence to perform lung nodule biopsies on patients that they might not have otherwise without the aid of real-time intraoperative imaging. As a result, the program grew from 81 lung nodule biopsy procedures in the first year to 140 in the third year, a 73% increase over 3 years,netting the hospital nearly $5,000 in contribution margin per procedure in the process.
Body Vision Medical is committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in lung cancer diagnostics. The company has plans to leverage its expertise in AI-powered imaging to improve patient care worldwide. Body Vision fully commercialized LungVision™ in 2021 and, since then, have made significant inroads into the US, European and Israeli markets. The company also continues to explore applying its AI-powered imaging to other health verticals including but not limited to lung therapeutics, spine, kidney, liver, and other endoluminal applications that would benefit from real-time image guidance.