Swiss diagnostic firm Unilabs to use Ibex cancer-detecting tech in labs

Geneva-based international provider of diagnostic services will roll out Israeli company’s software in Sweden, and 16 other European countries

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The AI-based software developed by Ibex Medical Analytics, in use at Unilabs. (Courtesy)
The AI-based software developed by Ibex Medical Analytics, in use at Unilabs. (Courtesy)

Unilabs, a Switzerland-based international provider of diagnostic services, and Ibex Medical Analytics, headquartered in Tel Aviv, said they have signed an agreement to use a maker of AI-based cancer diagnostic software developed by the Israeli firm in pathology labs across Europe.

After starting with a national rollout in Sweden, Unilabs will bring Ibex’s platform to 16 more countries. Unilabs is the first pan-European diagnostics provider to use Ibex’s AI-powered platform, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

Traditional pathology involves manual processes that have remained unchanged for years, with slides analyzed by pathologists using microscopes, and reporting often carried out on pieces of paper. But even as cancer rates have increased over the years, the number of pathologists globally is in decline.

The software developed by Ibex — which has received European approval — will use AI-based algorithms developed with advanced machine learning to analyze images from tissue biopsies, compare them with the pathologist’s diagnosis, and provide a second opinion and a safety net to prevent diagnostic errors. It also helps physicians get a faster and more accurate diagnosis for a more targeted cancer treatment, the statement said.

The AI-generated insights include case prioritization worklists, cancer heatmaps, tumor grading and measurement and streamlined reporting tools, the statement said.

“This cutting-edge AI technology will help our teams quickly prioritize urgent cases, speed up diagnosis and improve quality, by adding an extra set of digital eyes,” said Dr. Christian Rebhan, chief medical and operations officer at Unilabs. “When it comes to cancer, the earlier you catch it, the better the prognosis – so getting us critical results faster will help save lives.”

The technology developed by the firm has received Europe’s CE mark for breast and prostate cancer detection, and was recently granted Breakthrough Device Designation by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Unilabs is one of Europe’s largest diagnostics companies, with 12,000 employees, offering a complete range of laboratory, pathology, and imaging services to patients all around the world.

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