by Lauren Dubinsky
, Senior Reporter | November 14, 2018
NinePoint Medical has scored FDA clearance for an artificial intelligence software upgrade to its NvisionVLE Imaging System.
The Intelligent Real-time Imaging Segmentation (IRIS) software upgrade is the first AI tool approved for use in imaging esophageal tissue, according to Fred P. Lampropoulos, chairman and CEO of Merit Medical Systems, the worldwide distributor for NinePoint Medical.
"This improvement helps physicians understand what is going on better,” he told HCB News. “It's visible in color and helps speed up the procedure while giving physicians additional time to make their assessments.”
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During volumetric laser endomicroscopy procedures, the NvisionVLE Imaging System captures real-time, high-resolution cross-sectional images that enable gastroenterologists to assess the tissue for potential diseases that might not be visible with conventional technology like endoscopy or ultrasound.
The new IRIS software upgrade uses machine learning algorithms to segment and visualize esophageal image features in real time to help the gastroenterologist identify and target regions of interest during the procedure.
The solution's clearance marks the first addition of a new product to NinePoint Medical's portfolio since the formation of its partnership with Merit Medical back in May
Lampropoulos noted that Merit Medical was not involved in the development of IRIS because it was an ongoing project when the company took interest in NinePoint, and was instead focused on offering the NvisionVLE Imaging System to its customers around the world.
“Merit Medical Endotek is the ideal partner as they have the reputation, clinical experience, and complementary product portfolio to grow this business," said NinePoint Medical CEO Christopher R. Von Jako in a statement at the time.
The IRIS software upgrade will be rolled out in a controlled-market release in the coming months. After that, it will be made more broadly available.