AI's Arrival: Redefining Breast Cancer Detection

Dana Brown, iCAD's president, chairman and CEO, shares how the company is changing the way we think about breast cancer detection. Brown gives us an update on the partnership with Google. Plus, she talks about her time at Susan G. Komen and how cancer detection has changed throughout the years.

Omar Ford

July 1, 2024

27 Min Listen

iCAD is changing the way we look at cancer detection. By employing the use of artificial intelligence, the company is creating solutions that enable medical providers to accurately and reliably detect cancer earlier and improve patient outcomes.

Dana Brown, who began her tenure as president and CEO of iCAD in March of 2023, talks about what's next for the company and sheds some light on a partnership with Google.

Here is a transcript of the conversation.

Omar : How are you?

Dana: Great. Thanks for having me.

Omar: I'm doing well, just a bit sleep-deprived with a newborn at home, but otherwise, all good.

Dana: Congratulations.

Omar: Thank you. So, Dana, it's been over a year since you took the reins at iCAD. How has the journey been so far?

Dana: Better than I expected, honestly. I joined ICAD's board over two years ago, initially thinking it was my dream role. But I saw an opportunity to contribute more directly given my background in cloud technologies and breast health. Jumping in has been fantastic—the team is great, and seeing our solutions in action, not just on paper, has been incredibly rewarding.

Omar: That's wonderful to hear. Before we dive into iCAD, let's talk about your time at Susan G. Komen. Can you share about your role there?

Dana: Sure, at Susan G. Komen, I served as the chief strategic and operations officer for nearly five years. My focus was enhancing direct patient engagement, ensuring initiatives like helplines, financial aid, and support resources were impactful and accessible. It was about making sure Komen's efforts directly benefited patients throughout their breast cancer journey.

Omar: How have your experiences at Komen influenced your approach at iCAD?

Dana: Three main takeaways: continuous learning, particularly in management and collaboration; leveraging technology like EMRs and research registries to enhance patient care; and fostering a culture of innovation, crucial for developing effective solutions in breast health.

Omar: It sounds like a wealth of knowledge to bring to iCAD. Speaking of which, let's touch on iCAD's use of AI in breast cancer detection. How is AI reshaping mammography?

Dana: AI has revolutionized mammography by enhancing accuracy and efficiency. Unlike human eyes, AI processes data at a granular level, making it a reliable second opinion for radiologists. Beyond cancer detection, we're exploring applications like detecting breast arterial calcification, offering a more holistic view of a patient's health.

Omar: That's impressive—AI as a precision tool in healthcare. Is it making mammogram results more understandable for patients?

Dana: Currently, AI primarily aids clinicians by providing trusted decision support. However, patients are becoming aware of AI's role and its potential to offer them clearer, faster insights into their health—a promising development we're exploring further.

Omar: Moving forward, iCAD has partnered with Google Health. What can you tell us about this collaboration?

Dana: Our collaboration with Google Health spans two key initiatives: integrating our technology into Google's cloud infrastructure for seamless healthcare operations, and jointly developing advanced AI algorithms. This includes creating an AI-powered second reader for mammograms, aiming to streamline diagnosis and reduce turnaround times, and addressing the shortage of radiologists globally.

Omar: That's a significant step forward in leveraging technology for healthcare efficiency. While we await regulatory clearances, how do you see AI influencing patient care in the future?

Dana: AI is empowering patients with knowledge and enabling more informed healthcare decisions. It's part of a broader trend towards patient empowerment, where individuals actively engage in their health management—a positive shift we're committed to advancing at ICAD.

Omar: Your insights are invaluable. Looking back at your career journey, did you foresee technology playing such a pivotal role in healthcare?

Dana: Not initially, but my early interest in combining technology and sociology guided me towards leveraging tech for social impact. It's been a fulfilling journey seeing technology evolve from tax software to AI-driven healthcare solutions, empowering both patients and providers.

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].


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