J&J partners with AI startup to identify early lung cancer cases

A Johnson & Johnson division focused on developing tools to combat lung cancer is partnering with a clinical decision-support startup that recently achieved regulatory clearance for an early detection tool, the companies announced Wednesday.

The Lung Cancer Initiative, a program that cuts across Johnson & Johnson’s consumer, diagnostic, medical device and pharmaceutical businesses, has entered into an agreement with Optellum, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to flag patients with early-stage lung cancer, so that clinicians can intervene with treatments sooner.

Optellum received FDA clearance for its clinical decision-support software tool, which analyzes radiology images and assigns lung cancer prediction scores to lung nodules, in March.

Johnson & Johnson’s Lung Cancer Initiative late last year extended a partnership with Veracyte, a genomics company that tests for various cancers.

Clinical decision-support software is a top growth category in the digital health sector, according to a second-quarter report from market research firm Mercom Capital Group. Businesses that sell clinical decision-support software raised $434 million in the quarter and are a key part of a growing digital health subsector focused on tools for healthcare providers and practices.

Optellum, a privately held startup founded in 2016, is also looking to develop clinical decision-support tools for lung conditions including interstitial lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The startup, which is based in Houston and Oxford, England, has raised $1.3 million in funding to date.

Source: modernhealthcare.com

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