Entering a New World: Artificial Intelligence for Medicine
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Artificial intelligence algorithms have been delivering precise personalized solutions for the financial sector and dating agencies for years and are currently causing a stir in the field of machine learning with ChatGPT. For healthcare, therapies and diagnostics, AI is still rare. For example, when a patient urgently needs an organ transplant, doctors must often rely on systems whose underlying technologies were developed more than 25 years ago.
Based in Berlin and Boston, Pirche is a leader in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to molecular medicine in the fields of transplantation, leukemia and oncology. Pirche's unique digital diagnostic platform enables the evaluation, analysis and simulation of genetic and molecular insights that have previously not been considered. This disruptive, patent-protected technology advances diagnosis to prediction with unparalleled decision support. Pirche is more accurate, reliable and effective than any method used to date, yet requires only standard data points already collected in clinical laboratories. The platform is already used by leading transplant centers around the world as a medical decision support tool to improve long-term transplant success. The Pirche technology can also be used in the areas of oncology, autoimmune and infectious diseases among others; data supporting this utility from both running and completed R&D projects are already available and further applications are currently being researched.
In organ transplantation, Pirche has already made a significant impact on the market. More than 850 leading transplant centers worldwide have access to the Pirche platform; this is primarily through interconnected interfaces (APIs) with the software platforms of all major global transplantation diagnostic vendors and is a fully "plug & play" medical decision support tool for clinics. In addition, Pirche has already generated significant revenue from SaaS collaborations with industry partners and is in the process of being approved as a digital medical device by health systems and their health insurers in the US and Europe. It is Pirche's goal to facilitate an optimal transplant for every patient in need.
Problem and Solution
One of the biggest existing problems, for example with severe kidney disease, is the shortage of available donor organs. This is because there are no drug-based cures for end-stage kidney diseases and such diseases will inevitably lead to organ loss. Life-saving dialysis invariably involves significant side effects and massive restrictions to patients' daily lives. In the long term, only a kidney transplant can offer patients a chance for a self-determined life. Worldwide, more than 600,000 people are waiting for a donor organ, including over 120,000 patients in the USA alone and almost 10,000 in Germany. Globally, only one in five people has a chance of receiving a transplant and often only after many years of waiting. In Germany, only one in ten people will receive a donor organ. The vast majority of affected patients die as a result of kidney failure while waiting for a donor organ. This number stands at three deaths per day in Germany.
A further problem is the precise allocation of the available donor organs to potential recipients. Unfortunately, current practices still lead to the completely unsatisfactory reality that more than half of the transplanted patients will suffer a complete loss of function of the transplanted kidney within the first ten years after transplantation and many of the other patients experience severe transplant hypofunction. These patients must go back on dialysis with all its limitations, and the already long waiting list for donor organs continues to grow.
Firstly, Pirche's novel digital diagnostic platform enables physicians to make informed, data-driven decisions about the optimal allocation of donor organs for transplantation. Each individual genetic and molecular relationship between donor(s) and potential patient(s) is compared with hundreds of thousands of virtual cases from global databases using AI algorithms. This enables accurate risk assessment and, for the first time, accurately simulates the long-term course of the organ after transplantation—as far as 15 years and more into the future. This can also be applied to deceased donor organ transplants which are always time-critical. Pirche's technology can quickly draw highly accurate conclusions about the potential transplant outcome to significantly improve the survival and function of a transplanted organ.
Secondly, the data provided by Pirche are also of crucial importance for the selection of living donors. Today, this already concerns almost 30% of all kidney transplants. Physicians can accurately assess the potential survival of a donated organ in advance and can distinguish between several possible donors if necessary. This is especially important in so-called “crossover donations” when, for example, a couple who are not genetically matched swap donor organs with another non-matching couple to facilitate a living donation. For the assignment of a crossover donation - even out of hundreds of possibilities - Pirche provides precise and objective decision support, to the point that one can form closed chains for a whole series of living transplants. This is a crucial prerequisite for being able to perform many more transplants in the future through the exchange of donor organs. In recent years, Pirche has already enabled doctors to successfully solve highly problematic cases with digitally allocated kidney paired donations.
Thirdly, regarding the lifelong need for immunosuppression in transplanted patients, Pirche provides physicians with critical baseline data for precise individualized dosing of immunosuppression to minimize side effects and maximize the lifespan of a transplanted organ. The medical evidence of Pirche's technology and its AI algorithms is supported by 58 peer-reviewed publications in more than 200,000 patient cases. 25 patents issued to date protect Pirche's intellectual property in the U.S., Europe and Asia. With Pirche, patients have a proven chance of better treatment outcomes, fewer complications and a higher quality of life. Hospitals can sustainably improve their transplant outcomes and payers can expect lower long-term patient spending.
To learn more about Pirche and our technology, visit www.pirche.com.