Alverno Laboratories is partnering with Ibex Medical Analytics, the pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) -powered cancer diagnostics to deploy Ibex’s AI-powered Galen™ platform, helping pathologists provide accurate diagnosis and improved care for cancer patients.
Pathologists play a crucial role in the detection and diagnosis of disease, with their assessments being vital for reaching correct treatment decisions by oncologists. However, a rise in cancer prevalence and advances in personalized medicine have resulted in growing diagnostic complexity that significantly increases pathologists’ workloads. In recent years, as pathology labs transition towards digital solutions, laboratories can implement artificial intelligence enhanced workflows to improve quality and efficiency of cancer diagnosis, resulting in better patient care.
The Israel-based Ibex Medical Analytics uses AI to develop clinical-grade solutions that help pathologists detect and grade cancer in biopsies. Ibex’s Galen™ platform helps pathologists improve the quality of cancer diagnosis, implement real-time quality control1, reduce diagnosis time and boost productivity2. A recent study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) using Ibex’s Galen Prostate solution revealed nearly a 100 percent accuracy in detection of prostate cancer3, with other clinical studies demonstrating outstanding outcomes as well4. The Galen platform is CE marked for breast and prostate cancer detection in multiple workflows and was recently granted Breakthrough Device Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “This is just our continued journey to find the most innovative products that really help patients and doctors,” Alverno CEO Sam Terese said. “We want to make our patients healthier and enhance how our medical professionals work.”
Alverno is among the minority of U.S. labs today that implemented digital pathology technologies as part of their routine workflow, while a vast majority of pathologists in the country still diagnose cancer by looking at biopsies through a microscope. Terese said a potential partnership with Ibex would help pathologists, whose numbers are decreasing nationwide leading to an increased workload, focus on more complicated cancer diagnoses that need a trained eye. The AI technology is an ideal “digital assistant” supporting pathologists diagnosing routine cases.
Last year, Alverno became the first U.S.-based network to launch groundbreaking system wide digital pathology services from Royal Philips that support pathologists as they assess and diagnose diseases such as cancer from pathology cases digitally, instead of using a microscope. The digital pathology implementation included deployment of a network of high-throughput digital pathology scanners, an image management system and an integrated lab information system. AI is the next evolution in cancer diagnoses, said Terese. “We are looking at innovative solutions that will enhance our diagnostic capabilities,” Terese continued. “The main one we are looking at is adding AI to our menu of options for our digital pathology. Bringing in leading technology where it benefits patients the most is one of Alverno’s top goals. Patients being served by AMITA Health hospitals in the Chicago area as well as Franciscan Health in Indiana, will benefit from this partnership.”
In September of 2020, Ibex announced its first North American-based customer, Puerto Rico-based CorePlus Servicios Clínicos y Patológicos, LLC, and is expanding its footprint to visionary, forward-thinking labs like Alverno. “We are thrilled to team up with Alverno and enable their pathologists to use state-of-the-art AI-powered solutions to more accurately detect cancer and improve quality and efficiency of diagnosis,” said Joel Duckworth, Chief Revenue Officer for the Americas at Ibex. “With this roll out, Alverno is setting a new standard in cancer care quality, further proving its leadership and commitment to its patients by deploying an advanced clinical-grade AI solution to ensure the best possible outcomes. Artificial intelligence and digital pathology technologies have become an essential part of cancer care programs, their adoption being a vision shared by both Alverno and Ibex.”
In the last decade under Terese’s leadership, Alverno’s has continued to grow at averaged 20 percent yearly, and within the last year alone the company has made numerous major announcements, including:
The implementation of a state-of-the-art, High Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Assay that enables heart attacks to be detected faster and more accurately. The test has the potential to move patients out of the emergency room faster with more sensitive testing and ruling out heart attacks quicker. In addition, patients likely will be diagnosed with heart disease and the potential for heart attacks quicker, allowing them to have treatment in a timelier fashion. Also, there is the potential for fewer false positive admissions.
The implementation of Precision Medicine into its network. Precision medicine seeks to predict which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people. Terese said the company purchased a genome sequencer that can reveal genetic mutations that can offer clues about a patient’s diagnosis or how they will respond to treatment.
Alverno Laboratories was the first to be designated as a Beckman Microbiology Center of Excellence for its use of microbiology automation.
Alverno, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, is one of the largest integrated laboratory networks in the United States. It owns and operates 32 hospital laboratories and supports other hopsital laboratories in varying degrees in Illinois and Indiana, and features a central laboratory performing both clinical and anatomic pathology. Alverno’s innovative, state-of-the-art laboratory offers cost effective testing and personalized customer service, with advanced technology and testing in Precision Medicine/Next-Gen Sequencing, toxicology, pain management and other speciality testing. Alverno’s on-site pathologists are part of the pathology practice of Pathology Consultants, Inc.
 Sandbank J et al, Deployment of a Multi-Tissue AI-based Quality Control System in Routine Clinical Workflow. European Conference of Pathology 2020: https://ibex-ai.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Maccabi-IBEX-ECP2020-poster.pdf
 Raoux D, et al, Novel AI Based Solution for Supporting Primary Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer Increases the Accuracy and Efficiency of Reporting in Clinical Routine. USCAP 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XuWK8PmUlw
 The LANCET Digital Health, Aug 2020, Pantanowitz et al, An artificial intelligence algorithm for prostate cancer diagnosis in whole slide images of core needle biopsies: a blinded clinical validation and deployment study https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/article/PIIS2589-7500(20)30159-X/fulltext
 Laifenfeld D et al, AI-Based Solution for Cancer Diagnosis in Prostate Core Needle Biopsies: A Prospective Blinded Multi-Site Clinical Study. USCAP 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nDiJY90v9c