Caption Health's AI automated ejection fraction software.
November 11, 2021 — Caption Health and Ultromics, developers of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve cardiac ultrasound diagnostics, announced a strategic partnership to accelerate cardiovascular disease detection and treatment for more patients in more accessible care settings. Together, the companies will jointly offer the Caption AI software platform alongside Ultromics’ EchoGo deep ultrasound analytics.
The vendors said this will allow a broader set of providers the ability to perform ultrasounds and automatically calculate key indicators of heart function, which drive earlier and more accurate disease diagnosis.
Access to proper cardiac healthcare is a global problem, leading to countless preventable deaths. A limited number of specialists are available to perform and analyze cardiac ultrasounds – a key diagnostic procedure for identifying the beginning or progression of heart failure, valve disease, and coronary artery disease.
According to a recent study, 46% of patients in the U.S. diagnosed with heart failure in acute care settings had potential symptoms at primary care clinic visits in the previous six months – these issues were also more prevalent among women and Black patients. Meanwhile in the U.K., the National Health Service announced it is receiving £5.9 billion to clear treatment backlogs and improve diagnostic services, reflecting the great need exacerbated by recent global events.
These AI platforms have hope to change this landscape. Caption Guidance, which received Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA, is the leading AI acquisition and guidance software for cardiac ultrasound. Ultromics’ EchoGo has dramatically eased the burden on experts by delivering automated analysis of left ventricular volumes, ejection fraction, cardiac strain, and diagnostic support of heart failure and coronary artery disease. This saves significant time for users and improves outcomes by reducing variability between operators and equipment. Now, by linking these platforms, images acquired using Caption AI can be analyzed through Ultromics’ EchoGo platform, making advanced diagnostic capabilities that had been limited to experts in specialty care settings and expanding their access to more doctors and patients in more places. In the new year, these integrated capabilities are expected to be available on the Butterfly iQ+ platform, as part of Butterfly Network Inc. and Caption Health’s strategic partnership.
“More efficiently delivered and robust patient care is a necessity for the healthcare system to really improve. This means empowering the entire care team and making diagnostics a key part of care that’s more accessible to patients,” said Steve Cashman, president and CEO of Caption Health. “With the combination of Ultromics’ enhanced analysis and Caption AI, providers will be able to capture images earlier and get more out of those images, maximizing benefits for patients. Together, we’ll help drive the move to earlier detection and diagnosis of cardiac disease in patients – enabling proper management alongside more cost-efficient and timely care.”
“EchoGo is already delivering to experts an expansive set of fully automated, advanced clinical analysis and diagnostic support modules,” said Ross Upton, founder and CEO of Ultromics. “This joint agreement will carry our platform beyond the walls of the imaging lab, allowing new providers with less experience the ability to perform diagnostic ultrasounds and gain advanced measurements of cardiac function and diagnostic support, for earlier and more accessible detection of cardiovascular disease.”
The partnership between Caption Health and Ultromics aligns well with Butterfly’s ambition to empower clinicians to make easier, better, and more informed clinical decisions by leveraging the power of AI to reduce the complexities burdening traditional ultrasound, said Dr. Todd Fruchterman, president and CEO of Butterfly Network. “The advanced assessment capabilities highlighted by Caption, Ultromics, and Butterfly will strengthen the capabilities of more clinicians, not just sonographers,” he explained.