News & Events

Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre Receives Prestigious ANDHealth+ Program Funding

01 July 2024

Sydney, Australia – The Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre (SNAC) has been announced as one of six recipients of the coveted ANDHealth+ accelerator grants, funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). This non-dilutive funding aims to bolster Australia’s global digital health footprint and expedite the deployment of innovative technologies in patient care.

Major Funding Initiative
The ANDHealth+ program, backed by the MRFF, is set to allocate a total of $3.75 million over the next 16 months to six pioneering digital health companies. This announcement was made by The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care (Commercialising A.I. to unlock the mystery of multiple sclerosis).

Rising Need for Advanced Neuroimaging Solutions
The global prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Dementia is rising, affecting 7.5 million Americans and almost 450,000 Australians. Both conditions and their treatment responses are tracked by serial MRI scans, which are currently assessed through visual inspection. MRI generates thousands of images per scan, only a fraction of which can be accurately reviewed. This problem is exacerbated by the severe global shortage of radiologists and recent therapeutic advances, which have created a pressing demand for quantitative tracking to determine disease status and guide precision treatment strategies. For example, minor changes in MS brain lesions, which cannot be reliably detected by visual inspection, may lead neurologists to recommend treatment escalation to prevent irrecoverable nerve loss.

Despite the growing interest in quantitative neuroimaging driven by increasing brain disease prevalence, availability of new therapies, and new CPT reimbursement codes in the US, substantial barriers exist for radiology centers wishing to adopt AI solutions. These include a lack of technical know-how, poor integration with existing radiology workflows, privacy and cybersecurity concerns, and insufficient clinical validation. Additionally, the absence of a clear business model for introducing AI solutions has further hindered their adoption and obscured the potential benefits of AI-enabled clinical decision support.

SNAC’s Innovation
Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre has developed a state-of-the-art, 510(k)-cleared AI-based software platform (iQ-Solutions) for monitoring brain diseases through automated, workflow-integrated quantitative MRI analysis. The tool has been clinically validated in a large, published study and improves radiologist productivity and radiology economics. SNAC plans to market the tool (pending TGA approval, expected in Q3 2024) with a subscription-based SaaS model.

(Featured image: Fully automatic IQ-MS analysis)

From the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Mark Butler
The Hon Mark Butler highlighted the potential of Australian researchers and the digital health technology sector to enhance patient care. He emphasized the importance of strategic investment and expert guidance to transform groundbreaking discoveries into tangible healthcare solutions for Australian patients. The ANDHealth+ program is designed to facilitate the rapid and safe adoption of digital health technologies, such as SNAC’s iQ-solutions.

SNAC’s flagship product, iQ-Solutions, was expertly demonstrated by Dr. Lynette Masters OAM and SNAC’s director, Dr. Pradnya Dugal, to The Hon Mark Butler MP, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care. This demonstration underscored the cutting-edge capabilities of SNAC’s healthcare solutions.

Celebrating SNAC’s Recognition
The recognition of Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre’s AI-based technology by ANDHealth and the MRFF marks a significant milestone for SNAC. Participation in the ANDHealth+ program is expected to accelerate the commercialization of SNAC’s software solutions for precision MRI monitoring, benefiting people with neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and dementia.

This funding not only supports SNAC’s innovation but also reinforces Australia’s commitment to advancing digital health technologies, ensuring better healthcare outcomes for patients nationwide. SNAC is a provider of state-of-the-art medical image analysis services for clinical trials. More recently, it has developed AI software for automated, quantitative monitoring of brain diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Dementia in an ISO-13485/9001 certified environment, and achieved 510(k) clearance for its principal asset, iQ-Solutions (December 2023). With Torana, SNAC’s privacy-preserving informatics platform, iQ-Solutions integrates seamlessly with existing clinical workflows to deliver a best-in-class, ‘zero-click’ solution that enhances reporting accuracy and improves radiologist productivity. Most importantly, iQ-Solutions opens a path to precision monitoring and management of brain diseases, positioning SNAC to capture a share of this $400M+ global market opportunity.

Explore further readings on Channel 9 Sydney’s report of the Minister’s visit to SNAC, or contact us at Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre for more information.