CMS to pay physicians to use stroke, diabetes complication detection algorithms

CMS will pay healthcare organizations to use two artificial intelligence systems, a move that could potentially encourage widespread use of machine learning algorithms in the field.

The agency will pay for the use of an AI system that can detect strokes and one that can diagnose a diabetes complication that can lead to blindness. Both were approved by the FDA in 2018.

ContaCT, a stroke detection AI system from San Francisco-based startup Viz.ai, analyzes CT scans and alerts a neurosurgeon when a blood clot is identified in a patient's brain. In September, CMS said hospitals should receive up to $1,040 for using the system, citing evidence that speeding up stroke detection can drastically reduce patients' recovery time and resulting disabilities.

Viz.ai founder and CEO Chris Mansi told WIRED CMS' decision to pay for the system's use has already influenced more hospitals to sign up for it.

CMS will also pay for the use of IDx-DR, an AI system that analyzes photos of retinas to diagnose retinopathy, a diabetes complication that can result in blindness. The system, which is made by Oakdale, Iowa-based Digital Diagnostics, is the first AI product the FDA approved to make a diagnosis. In August, CMS said hospitals should receive significantly less for their use of IDx-DR than they will for ContaCT, generally less than $20, according to WIRED.

More articles on artificial intelligence:
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4 studies on AI's potential to identify early-stage dementia

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