Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Michigan start-up analyzes medical imaging data to better treat patients


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 17th, 2019

A start-up from the University of Michigan (U-M) has developed a technology that analyzes data from X-rays and other medical images to more effectively deliver precision medicines to patients.

Applied Morphomics is based on the research of U-M researcher and company founder Stewart Wang. The technology extracts thousands of digital biomarkers from a patient’s imaging files such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans. Physicians can use the data to pinpoint a patient’s condition, the state of their disease and the types of treatments that would be most effective.

“This is the ultimate selfie,” says Wang. “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.”

According to June Sullivan, managing director of the U-M Morphomic Analysis Group and co-developer of the technology, the images can be shared with patients in a way medical imaging is not normally shared.

“This is a bridge between the doctor and patient,” says Sullivan. “Patients often don’t get to see their insides nor do they get a chance to talk about what their risks are. With these morphomics images, you can show them their role in their condition and treatment.”

The technology can also be used to define baseline information about gender, age and fitness, taking into account the current distribution of body types. This comprehensive approach makes for a more intelligent base for research and benchmarking activity.

“The deep analysis of the variety and often less apparent nuances of our physical structure that have been developed by the Morphomics project is a phenomenally deep and sophisticated benchmarking reference,” says Drew Bennett, associate director of U-M Tech Transfer, which licensed Wang’s technology to Morphomics.

Sullivan describes the innovation not as a piece of software but as a service, with potential applications in custom device development, drug development, patient selection, drug trials, surgical decision making, and disease management.

“The patient is like the soil in which a seed, or a disease, takes root,” comments Wang. “Doctors tend to treat just the disease. Morphomics allows a much better understanding of the condition of the patient, or the soil, so that health can be restored.”

Source: Michigan News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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