U of Michigan startup analyzes patients' medical images to help pinpoint treatments

A University of Michigan biomarker technology startup developed a digital tool that uses patients' medical scans to personalize their treatment options.

Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan Morphomic Analysis Group Director Stewart Wang, MD, developed the startup, called Applied Morphomics Inc. The company uses technology to extract digital biomarkers, measurable substances that indicate disease or infection, from a patient's medical image files, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.

Using the data extracted from the patient's medical imaging files, physicians can identify a patient's condition, what state the disease is in and the types of treatments that may be most effective.

"This is the ultimate selfie," Dr. Wang said in a news release. "A patient's body is their biological medical record and contains a tremendous amount of information that clinicians to date have not been able to comprehend."

The digital tool can "extract data on organ size and condition; muscle volume and quality from psoas and other muscle groups; visceral and subcutaneous fat volumes, distribution and density; bone mineral density; and vascular dimensions and calcification," according to the news release.

Dr. Wang and his research team developed the technology over the past 10 years. The researchers analyzed millions of digital images from more than 100,000 patients' imaging scans, spanning a 20-year period. With this data, the team was able to gather baseline information about gender, age and fitness.

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