Volpara Health Technologies Ltd. has announced an expanded sponsorship of DenseBreast-info.org (DBI), an educational resource developed to provide breast density information to both patients and health care professionals. Image credit: Volpara
May 2, 2023 — Volpara Health Technologies Ltd. is announcing an expanded sponsorship of DenseBreast-info.org (DBI) at this year’s Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) annual symposium, being held May 4-7 in Maryland. Volpara, a global provider of artificial intelligence (AI) software for the early detection of cancer, will donate 5% of the profits from all sales of its Volpara Scorecard breast density assessment software to DBI for the next twelve months.
DenseBreast-info.org (DBI) is an educational resource developed to provide breast density information to both patients and health care professionals. The medically-sourced tool is the collaborative efforts of world-renowned breast imaging experts and medical reviewers and has been developed to help guide discussion of the question: “Have dense breasts…now what?"
“Women should be told if they have dense breasts,” said JoAnn Pushkin, Co-founder and Executive Director at DBI. “Without an understanding of both the screening and risk implications of dense breasts, women cannot effectively participate in their own breast health surveillance,” she added, noting, “We are most appreciative of Volpara Health’s early and ongoing recognition of the need for, and support of, DenseBreast-info.org’s website development and educational mission.”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced a federal regulation requiring all women to be notified—with standard language—if they have “dense” or “not dense” breasts in the mammography results letters. All women will be told that dense tissue makes it harder to find cancer on mammography and also raises the risk of developing breast cancer.
About 25% of breast cancers are missed in women with heterogeneously dense breasts as are about 40% of cancers in women with extremely dense breasts. (1) After a mammogram, other screening tests such as ultrasound, and especially MRI, find additional cancers in dense breasts. Women should discuss density and other risk factors with their radiologist or health care provider. Detecting cancers missed by mammography can improve outcomes. However, insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs for these additional screenings is a barrier for many women. To date, only sixteen states and the District of Columbia (2) have laws that require insurance coverage for screening beyond mammograms for higher risk women and/or those with dense tissue.
DBI and Pushkin supported the December 2022 bi-partisan introduction of a new federal insurance bill – the Find It Early Act. The proposed legislation, which DBI continues to champion, aims to ensure all health insurance plans cover additional imaging at no cost to the patient.
“Knowledge is power, and the recent FDA ruling on breast density notification is a step towards empowering women to take charge of their health,” said Volpara CEO Teri Thomas. He added, “We need to continue advocating for accessible and affordable healthcare, so that no woman is left behind when it comes to following up on necessary testing. A key part of that is the Find It Early Act. Volpara supports the work of organizations that align with us in the goal of empowering women. Let’s work towards a future where every woman has the resources and support she needs to prioritize her well-being.”
Volpara Scorecard is artificial intelligence software for automated, volumetric breast density assessment. Research has shown that radiologists who assess breast density visually assign density categories inconsistently. (3) With the new federal language of dense vs. non-dense, distinguishing a patient’s breast density between a BI-RADS category b and c accurately and consistently will be essential.
Volpara, which provides clinically validated, AI-powered software for personalized screening and early detection of breast cancer, reports that its software is used in over 2,000 facilities by more than 5,600 technologists, impacting nearly 17 million patients globally, helping providers conduct more than three million cancer risk assessments each year — which can be deployed stand-alone or fully integrated with electronic health record systems, mammography reporting systems, imaging hardware, and genetic laboratories. With an office in Seattle, WA, Wellington, New Zealand-based Volpara, reports that its Scorecard’s objective TruDensity algorithm is proven to reduce reader variability, adding that the company holds the most rigorous security certifications and numerous patents and regulatory registrations, including FDA clearance and CE marking.
1. Berg WA, Seitzman RL, Pushkin J. Implementing the national dense breast reporting standard, expanding supplemental screening using current guidelines, and the proposed Find It Early Act. J Breast Imag 2023
3. Redondo A, Comas M, Macià F, Ferrer F, Murta-Nascimento C, Maristany MT, Molins E, Sala M, Castells X. Inter- and intraradiologist variability in the BI-RADS assessment and breast density categories for screening mammograms. Br J Radiol. 2012 Nov;85(1019):1465-70. doi: 10.1259/bjr/21256379. Epub 2012 Sep 19. PMID: 22993385; PMCID: PMC3500788.
For more information, visit www.volparahealth.com
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