By integrating Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Volpara expects to enhance its BAC model and data processing


Volpara, Microsoft sign R&D agreement to fast track the creation of a solution that detects and quantifies BAC. (Credit: Tawanda Razika from Pixabay)

Volpara Health Technologies has forged a new research and development (R&D) agreement with Microsoft for expediting the development of a software solution for detecting and quantifying breast arterial calcifications (BAC).

The solution is expected to be built upon the health technology software firm’s approach to scoring quantitative and objective breast density by utilising artificial intelligence (AI).

It will make use of the New Zealand-based health technology software firm’s recent BAC patent to create a tissue composition map.

According to the company, the map will identify and quantify BAC from a mammogram to assist radiologists in identifying the necessity for taking steps for the prevention of heart disease.

Volpara said that it will be able to enhance its BAC model and data processing by integrating Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, which is part of the Azure AI platform.

Microsoft global healthcare and life sciences corporate vice president Tom McGuinness said: “Integrating Azure Machine Learning as a service with Volpara’s solution allows providers to connect data and look for meaningful signals through predictive analytics.

“Through this technology, physicians can identify cardiac risk in patients who may not be aware that they’re at higher risk, empowering them and their provider to take proactive steps towards their health.”

The BAC product’s use as a cardiac decision-support tool for radiologists will mark Volpara’s foray into a new area of care.

Claiming to have access to more than 35% of the breast screening market in the US, the company said that it has the installation base to enable rollout and adoption of the BAC product, thereby opening up a new revenue stream.

Volpara cofounder and chief science and innovation officer Ralph Highnam said: “The trusted relationship we have built with Microsoft over the years is important to Volpara’s future, especially our utilization of Azure for machine learning and product development. Our mission and vision around the future of healthcare align well with Microsoft’s.

“Though we are in the early stages of BAC product development, this collaboration will accelerate our efforts as we advance science together.”