Boston Children’s Hospital and GE Healthcare have inked a deal to jointly develop and commercialize digital technologies to diagnose and treat specific childhood diseases, starting with diseases that affect the brain. The first project seeks to improve diagnostic accuracy in pediatric brain scans by providing real-time contextual information at the time and place the radiologist needs it.

Leveraging the software experience of GE Healthcare, the computing proficiency of the GE Health Cloud, and the clinical knowledge of Boston Children’s radiologists, the two organizations are working to develop a decision support platform that is intended to help distinguish the large variability in brain MRI scans. The system will be preloaded with normative reference scans from young children of different ages, which physicians worldwide can use as a benchmark when reading scans of pediatric patients.

“Interpreting pediatric brain scans requires a specific understanding of the developing brain,” says Richard Robertson, MD, radiologist in chief at Boston Children’s. “Since most pediatric imaging is not performed in children’s hospitals by specialists, this new digital tool, once available, will provide non-specialists with access to knowledge and expertise to help effectively diagnose children.”

Sanjay Prabhu, MBBS, a pediatric neuroradiologist at Boston Children’s, also has high hopes for the partnership and discussed how it came to fruition. “Since pediatric neuroradiologists are very scarce, we approached GE Healthcare to collaborate on the development of digital tools to help physicians of varying expertise read the scans,” Prabhu reveals.

After all, he says, it’s often difficult to read brain scans of children under the age of 4 since the brain develops rapidly during toddlerhood.

For more information about this partnership, visit GE Healthcare.