Connect with us

Health

AI technology catches cancer before symptoms with Ezra, a full-body MRI scanner

Published

on

AI technology catches cancer before symptoms with Ezra, a full-body MRI scanner

Meet Ezra, the full-body cancer screener that just might save your life.

Combining MRI imaging technology with artificial intelligence, Ezra scans for possible cancer in the human body in up to 13 organs. It also monitors for hundreds of other conditions, such as brain aneurysms or fatty liver disease.

The New York-based company just received FDA clearance to implement another level of AI — called Ezra Flash — that will enhance the imaging results of the scans to enable faster, higher-quality results at a lower cost.

AI IN DENTISTRY: RESEARCHERS FIND THAT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN CREATE BETTER DENTAL CROWNS

“Our current 60-minute scan is $1,950, but with the new AI, the faster 30-minute scan will be $1,350,” said Emi Gal, founder and CEO of Ezra, in an interview with Fox News Digital. 

Advertisement

“Ultimately, our goal is to create a $500 full-body MRI that anyone can afford,” he also said.

The inspiration for Ezra came from Gal’s own personal motivation to help people find cancer early. He is at a high risk for developing melanoma — and his mother passed away from the disease.

Combining MRI imaging technology with artificial intelligence, Ezra — founded by Emi Gal, shown at left — scans for possible cancer in up to 13 organs and also monitors for hundreds of other conditions. (Ezra/iStock)

“I strongly believe that the cure for cancer is early detection,” Gal said. 

“The five-year survival rates are significantly higher for people who find cancer early.”

Advertisement

While some cancers have very clear screening guidelines — mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colon cancer, for example — most types don’t have screening procedures available, he explained.

That means for cancers of the pancreas, liver or brain, most people don’t get diagnosed until they have symptoms, said Gal. 

“Everyone should have the right to know what is going on in their body.”

Ezra is now in use in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas. The company partners with existing ACR (American College of Radiology)-accredited facilities, where the scans are performed. 

“We’ve scanned just under 5,000 people and we’ve helped 13% of our members find possible cancer,” Gal said. 

Advertisement

More and more physicians are referring their patients for Ezra scans, he noted.

Cancer scan

“The quality of an MRI is determined by the level of ‘noise,’” explained Emi Gal, founder and CEO of Ezra. “And so in technical terms, our AI (not pictured) is able to remove the noise that results from a much faster scan.” (iStock)

“We now have about 200 physicians,” he said. “These are mainly primary care physicians who send their patients to get scans proactively.”

The main feedback they’ve received from members is that they love Ezra, but it’s too expensive to do every year and needs to be more affordable.

“That’s what we’ve been working on for the past year-and-a-half now, and that’s what this new AI will enable,” Gal said.

Here’s how Ezra works

The current 60-minute version of Ezra uses two different types of artificial intelligence.

Advertisement

One of those automates some of the things radiologists do when reading a scan. 

“For example, when a radiologist looks at a prostate MRI, they need to measure the size of the prostate and the size of any lesions, and they need to draw a circle around the lesions for biopsy prep,” Gal explained. 

“All of that is automated using AI, which makes radiologists faster and lowers our costs, which enables us to pass those savings on to consumers.”

“We want to make booking your screening as easy as booking an Uber.”

The other type of AI helps with the reporting side — it produces a radiology report and “translates” it into a clear, understandable format, Gal said.

Advertisement

“For example, if you have a 6-millimeter nodule in your thyroid, the AI explains what that means, what you should do about it and how to monitor and follow up,” he said. “We don’t just deliver a radiology report — we give you a kind of translation of what you should do about it.”

The patient also has the option to do a video call with one of Ezra’s on-staff doctors to discuss the results.

NEW AI ‘CANCER CHATBOT’ PROVIDES PATIENTS AND FAMILIES WITH 24/7 SUPPORT: ‘EMPATHETIC APPROACH’

With the new Ezra Flash that has just been cleared by the FDA, the shorter 30-minute scan includes a third level of AI that enables radiologists to complete scans much faster. The AI then enhances the quality of the images so radiologists can more easily read them.

“The quality of an MRI is determined by the level of ‘noise,’” explained Gal. “And so in technical terms, our AI is able to remove the noise that results from a much faster scan.”

Advertisement
Emi Gal

Founder Emi Gal, shown here, was inspired to start Ezra because he’s at high risk for developing melanoma; his mother also passed away from the disease. (Emi Gal/Ezra)

The company’s ultimate goal is for Ezra to offer a 15-minute, full-body MRI scan for $500; it aims to achieve this over the next two to three years.

“Ultimately, we think Ezra should be the end-to-end cancer screening platform,” Gal said. “We want to make booking your screening as easy as booking an Uber.”

“Our ability to scan more people in the future will come from seamless, easy, convenient access to any kind of screening.”

A life-saving scan

One 36-year-old man, who asked that his name be withheld for privacy reasons, decided to schedule a preventative full-body cancer screening with Ezra last year.

Within the span of a year, two of his close friends, both in their early 30s, had been diagnosed with cancer — and both were told their tumors had likely been developing for over a decade.

Advertisement

“I was struck by the fact that despite all the advances of modern medicine, you still have no idea what is happening inside your body,” he told Fox News Digital. “In a majority of cases, the onus is on the patient to realize something is wrong, at which point it is often too late for effective treatment.”

“It would not be an exaggeration to say my scan saved my life.”

After a short intake questionnaire, the patient was scheduled for an MRI at a nearby imaging center. The process took just over an hour.

“I had no reason for concern, it was just a screening — so I was very surprised to find that my scan turned up an alarmingly large brain tumor,” he said.

Early detection of the brain tumor allowed for intervention before it had progressed to an advanced stage, which would have required more aggressive treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation. 

Advertisement

AI SHOWN TO PREDICT RISK OF PANCREATIC CANCER WELL BEFORE SYMPTOMS APPEAR

“According to my medical team, it would likely have been another five to 10 years before symptoms — most likely a seizure — would have indicated the presence of the tumor,” he said. 

“Had that been the case, I would have undergone emergency surgery.”

Instead, the patient had time to research top neurosurgery centers across the country and consult with multiple surgeons before scheduling his surgery. 

Brain scan

For one patient, the early detection of a brain tumor (not pictured) allowed for intervention before it had progressed to an advanced stage. (iStock)

He was also able to enroll in a clinical trial for a medication that has since proven successful — something he might have missed out on if he’d gotten the diagnosis later.

Advertisement

“Everyone should have the right to know what is going on in their body,” the patient said. “It would not be an exaggeration to say my scan saved my life.”

Potential concern

Unlike X-rays that use ionizing radiation, Ezra’s MRI technology uses magnetic resonance, Gal explained.

“You can do a scan every day for the rest of your life and you’ll be fine,” he said.

The one potential concern, however, is the risk of incidental findings. 

If a scan picks up a red flag that is investigated and turns out to be nothing, it could result in an unnecessary biopsy.

Advertisement

“We’ve developed an entire framework to handle incidental findings,” Gal said. “Part of why we use AI to generate these reports is so that we can clearly explain to people what every single finding means and what should be done about it.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

Ezra uses a scoring system that ranks every finding from 1 to 5, 1 being just informative and 5 being “emergent and urgent.” 

Based on that rank, they determine whether someone should follow up on a finding.

Even for existing routine screenings, like mammograms, there is always the risk of false positives, Gal pointed out.

Advertisement

“From the data we have so far, we have a really, really low false positive rate — around 1%, which is probably even better than a mammogram or a lung scan,” he said.

Woman getting mammogram

Even for existing routine screenings such as mammograms, there is always the risk of false positives, Gal pointed out. (iStock)

The patient who discovered his brain tumor through an Ezra scan also flagged incidental findings as the sole risk.

“Full-body scans inevitably produce incidental findings, which may lead to additional testing,” he said. “These additional tests come with their own risks, stress and costs.”

“These additional tests come with their own risks, stress and costs.”

“As these screenings become more widespread and incidental findings more frequent, clinicians will need to become better at differentiating which findings require follow-up and which do not,” he added. 

Advertisement

“The responsibility of the health care provider is to clarify and provide context for the information, explain their recommendations and then empower patients to make informed decisions about their own health.”

Creating a ‘virtuous cycle’

Until now, medical imaging has been primarily used to diagnose diseases after symptoms have already emerged — but Ezra aims to detect cancer well before that point, said Dr. Sodickson, chief of innovation in radiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who is also Ezra’s advisor and chief scientist.

“Such a shift requires that MRI be made more accessible — first financially and then technologically,” he said. “The FDA approval of Ezra Flash, which leverages AI to clear up rapid scans, is an important first step, since time is money in medical imaging.”

Meanwhile, as Ezra completes more scans over time, the system will “learn” to detect subtle changes earlier, preventing the false positive results that can plague one-shot screening studies, the doctor noted. 

Advertisement

He added, “The goal is to initiate a virtuous cycle: Make imaging accessible in order to scan you more frequently, and scan more frequently in order to provide accurate monitoring of your health over time.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Health

Lose 15 Pounds Fast and Fix Prediabetes on Dr. Eric Berg's Eating Plan

Published

on

Lose 15 Pounds Fast and Fix Prediabetes on Dr. Eric Berg's Eating Plan



Advertisement


Baby Step Keto for Weight Loss: Woman Over 50’s Success Story | Woman’s World
























Advertisement













Advertisement


Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items.


Use escape to exit the menu.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Health

Most US adults worry about future of Medicare, Social Security, Gallup poll finds: ‘Magnitude of concern’

Published

on

Most US adults worry about future of Medicare, Social Security, Gallup poll finds: ‘Magnitude of concern’

Join Fox News for access to this content

You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.

Please enter a valid email address.

Having trouble? Click here.

Adults in the U.S. are more worried than ever about whether Medicare and Social Security benefits will be available when they need them.

In response to a Gallup poll released in June, 75% of adults age 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability, according to a press release.

Advertisement

When it comes to Social Security benefits, 80% of survey respondents said the same.

HEALTH CARE IS ‘OVERWHELMINGLY COMPLEX’ FOR OLDER ADULTS, EXPERTS SAY: ‘EVER-INCREASING HURDLE’

Both of those percentages have increased since the last poll in 2022.

The data came from the West Health-Gallup 2024 Survey on Aging in America, which polled 5,149 adults 18 and older between November 2023 and January 2024.

In response to a Gallup poll released last month, 75% of adults 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability. (iStock)

Advertisement

The older the respondents, the more likely they were to consider Social Security and Medicare important — 87% of adults 65 or older said they were the “highest priority” programs, twice as many compared to those between 18 and 29 years of age, according to the results.

The poll also found that more than half of Americans are “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to make voting decisions based on their support of programs that affect older adults — and among adults 65 and older, that figure rises to 77%.

“The overwhelming majority of people do not think the U.S. is doing enough to address the needs of its growing aging population.”

Timothy Lash, president of West Health, a California nonprofit focused on health care and aging that partnered with Gallup to conduct the poll, said the findings showed the “magnitude of concern” people have about aging.

“High and rising concerns over the future viability of Medicare and Social Security and the high cost of health care dominate people’s thinking on aging,” Lash told Fox News Digital via email. 

Advertisement
Medicare card

The older the respondents, the more likely they were to consider Social Security and Medicare important, the poll found. (iStock)

“The overwhelming majority of people do not think the U.S. is doing enough to address the needs of its growing aging population.”

By 2034, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that adults 65 and older will outnumber children under 18 for the first time, he noted.

What can people do?

Those who are concerned should communicate with their policymakers and elected officials, Lash advised.

“A whopping two-thirds of Americans feel the country is not prepared to address the overall needs of its rapidly growing older population, and these concerns may influence who they vote for in upcoming elections,” he said.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HELPS PREDICT SENIORS’ LONG-TERM CARE NEEDS: ‘CRITICAL NEXT STEPS’

Advertisement

Among increasing concerns over health care affordability and the future of Medicare and Social Security, Lash said, “Americans need to look at who is going to rein in the high cost of health care and protect and strengthen safety net programs for future seniors.” 

As the aging population continues to grow, Lash emphasized the importance of addressing their needs and challenges.

“It’s up to all of us to work to reduce the concerns over aging and raise the promise and hope of growing older in America,” he added.

Seniors medical bills

As the aging population continues to grow, an expert emphasized the importance of addressing its needs and challenges. (iStock)

Whitney Stidom, vice president of Medicare Operations at eHealth in Salt Lake City, said she was not surprised by the Gallup poll’s findings.

“As we enter the last few months of the election [season], candidates from both parties should be clear that it’s not only seniors who care about the future of Medicare — younger people care, too,” Stidom told Fox News Digital via email.

Advertisement

“It’s up to all of us to work to reduce the concerns over aging and raise the promise and hope of growing older in America.”

In a March survey by eHealth, 78% of millennials and Gen Xers identified Medicare as a “top-three” voting issue, and 84% said they were willing to contribute more in payroll taxes to ensure its future, according to Stidom.

      

“We are anticipating unprecedented volatility in the Medicare Advantage marketplace due to continued financial pressures within the entire health care industry, regulatory changes, and the inevitable sticker shock that consumers will see when their plan notices of change arrive in the mail come September’s annual enrollment period,” she said.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

Advertisement

To help avoid cost increases or loss of certain benefits in 2025, Stidom encourages seniors to review their Plan Notice of Change letters carefully as soon as they arrive — and to go over their options with a trusted, licensed adviser.

CMS

“Medicare provides a crucial lifeline for over 65 million Americans who depend on this vital program for their health care needs,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Fox News Digital in a statement. (Getty Images)

“Don’t wait until the last minute to make selections for next year,” she added.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

When contacted by Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided the following statement.

“Medicare provides a crucial lifeline for over 65 million Americans who depend on this vital program for their health care needs. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken many actions to strengthen Medicare while improving its sustainability, and has proposed enhancements that would extend its solvency while strengthening benefits. CMS is committed to protecting Medicare now and for future generations.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Health

Dietitians Reveal the 3 Types of Foods You Should Avoid While on Semaglutide To Speed Weight Loss

Published

on

Dietitians Reveal the 3 Types of Foods You Should Avoid While on Semaglutide To Speed Weight Loss



Advertisement


Foods to Avoid on Semaglutide: 3 Items That Slow Down Weight Loss | Woman’s World
























Advertisement













Advertisement


Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items.


Use escape to exit the menu.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending