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AiThority Interview with Gene Saragnese, CEO at MaxQ AI

AiThority Interview with Gene Saragnese, CEO at MaxQ AI
Could you tell us about your journey in technology and how you started at MaxQ AI?

Throughout my career, I’ve always had a fascination with technology and its potential, and I have had an interest in working with emerging and disruptive technologies. I was trained as an Engineer and began my career in Aerospace working with satellites. 20 years ago, I moved into Healthcare, first with GE Healthcare as GM of MR, then CTO, and finally as VP and GM of Molecular Imaging and CT. Next, I joined Philips as CEO of Imaging Systems. Combining my love with Technology and my deep Healthcare experience, it was clear that I wanted to lead a company that was leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to solve some of these big problems. When the opportunity presented itself to join MaxQ AI as CEO, I jumped at the chance to help lead an innovative startup that is leading the way in a new category – Medical Diagnostic AI solutions.

What is MaxQ AI and how does it fit into the modern Healthcare industry?

Healthcare today is under a level of pressure that is unprecedented. With less money than ever before, and a shortage of Healthcare providers attempting to serve a growing number of patients, finding reliable solutions is crucial. And despite the introduction of new diagnostic techniques, technology, and monitoring tools, misdiagnosis rates have remained an issue.

MaxQ is an aeronautic term that means maximum pressure, which is typically the point where failure occurs. Today’s Healthcare system is at a breaking point, at MaxQ, with an urgent need for solutions that will bring relief and open patient care capacity. Instead of more data and analysis, which adds to the decision-making burden, care providers need solutions that deliver insight, potentially life-changing answers, while seamlessly integrating with their current workflow.

MaxQ AI develops Medical Diagnostic AI solutions that hold great promise for healthcare through significant quality, clinical, and economic advancement in supporting the care providers to make the “minutes matter” call.

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You were recently at RSNA 2019. Could you tell us more about your interaction with the event attendees and customers at the event?

RNSA 2019 was a very positive experience for the entire MaxQ AI team. Not only has AI become a widely accepted technology, attendees and our partners clearly understood that there is an urgent need in the Healthcare sector. Throughout my conversations with our partners and attendees, it only reinforced my belief that AI-enabled solutions must be comprehensive, seamless to integrate, secure, and solve deep clinical problems

For example, MaxQ AI is developing Medical Diagnostic AI solutions for the acute care setting with an initial focus to better detect and treat intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), stroke, and head trauma. To truly relieve the pressure on healthcare, any new AI-enabled solutions must augment radiologist and care providers and allow them to make critical decisions quickly, correctly, and that saves lives. Finally, it was rewarding to see our ACCIPIO® ICH, stroke and head trauma as a lead demonstration for so many of our channel partners throughout the exhibit floor at RSNA.

What makes your partnership with GE Healthcare’s PACS Solution so unique?

We have global reach through several world-class partnerships with industry-leading and trusted CT, PACS, and AI Ecosystem companies. The ability to integrate our Accipio intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) detection software and slice-level annotation through GE Healthcare’s PACS further solidifies and deepens our successful partnership with GE Healthcare. This will also enable hospitals and acute care providers, who are looking to bring the power of our AI-enabled solutions into their emergency rooms, to seamlessly add these new capabilities into the workflow in GE Healthcare’s Edison Open AI Orchestrator, a platform for quickly and easily integrating AI-based clinical applications in imaging workflows.

At RSNA 2019, what are the major disruptions you foresee in this industry?

This year, it is clear that AI-powered solutions have been embraced – this was visible with over 130 AI-related exhibitors throughout the conference and a newly designated AI Showcase on a separate level of the conference. We actually made the decision to say on the main exhibit floor to be near our partners, which I believe is both an important statement and distinction for our company within the industry. To move beyond from being perceived as merely a disruptive technology, but one that is actually embraced and implemented by radiologists and throughout healthcare, AI-powered solutions must be comprehensive, secure, and seamlessly integrated into existing workflow. These solutions must move beyond productivity to provide deep patient diagnostic insights. And, these solutions must provide deep clinical validation and proof of regulatory approvals. Finally, AI providers must be backed by industry partners for global deployment and support via these trusted channels and companies.

Apart from the ones in the US, which other industries and geographies are you currently targeting?

Thanks in part to our strong partnerships with global channels, we have the ability to distribute our integrated solutions through their worldwide channels. MaxQ AI has secured multiple regulatory approvals, including FDA clearance and CE Mark approval for our Accipio IxTM and Accipio AxTM solutions. Through strong partnerships and our success securing key regulatory approvals, MaxQ AI aspires to improve a physician’s ability to make a faster and more confident diagnosis, our solutions hold significant potential to improve the quality and efficiency of care in acute care settings across the globe.

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Where do you see the AI-based medical diagnostic platforms in the next 2-3 years?

As an industry, we need to push ourselves toward truly generalized solutions in the AI space. Algorithm development is a step along the way. To focus and finish is to fully validate a generalized solution. Over the next 2-3 years, I believe that the industry will embrace the critical importance that AI applications are truly generalized. To put it plainly, I would rather have three algorithms and nine applications that deliver impeccable results than to develop 20 algorithms that are not be generalized. I believe those companies that pursue a generalized, scalable, and secure approach will be standing in two years from now, and those who do not, might not be.

What AI and E-Healthcare start-ups and labs are you keenly following?

I follow many of the AI-focused start-ups that are entering the Radiology and Healthcare market. Given the close relationship between imaging and pathology, there are several innovative start-ups that have embraced AI-powered pathology solutions that are doing fascinating work. In addition, I’m interested in seeing what a variety of AI-focused businesses are doing outside of healthcare – in particular, those start-ups that are shaping different sectors from retail to financial services.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Valerie P. Jackson, MD, who is the president of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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Thank you, Gene! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.

Gene Saragnese is CEO of MaxQ AI. Engineer by training, Gene started his career at GE Astro Space. Two decades ago, he moved into healthcare, first with GE Healthcare as GM of MR, then CTO, and finally as VP and GM of Molecular Imaging and CT. Gene joined Philips as CEO of Imaging Systems, where he oversaw the $7 billion business. As CEO of MaxQ AI, Gene is taking his passion for technology, deep healthcare experience to develop new Medical Diagnostic AI solutions that will lower costs and improve outcomes for patients suffering from stroke and brain trauma.

MaxQ AI is at the forefront of Medical Diagnostic AI. The company is transforming healthcare by empowering physicians to provide ‘smarter care’ with artificial intelligence (AI) clinical insights. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel and Andover, MA, MaxQ AI’s team of deep learning and machine vision experts develop innovative software that uses AI to interpret medical images and surrounding patient data. Working with world-class clinical and industry partners, the company’s Accipio™ software platform enables physicians to make faster, more accurate decisions when diagnosing stroke, brain trauma and other serious conditions.

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