Pro Medicus Expands Further Into Artificial Intelligence
Despite the rate at which the sector is moving, Sam Hupert, chief executive of medical imaging firm Pro Medicus, remains optimistic. The firm is expected to leverage on cloud-based computing in the short run as fears about the security of the cloud emerged. Specifically, these fears surrounding the privacy of patients’ health particulars have, in turn, resulted in the much slower adoption of technology.
Consequently, it is within his goal that at least half of its consumers will utilise cloud-based software-as-a-service medical imaging product, as opposed to the bulk of on-premise consumers presently. Additionally, this transition was ignited by the renowned US hospital Mayo Clinic’s announcement in September 2019 where it had identified Google Cloud as its designated digital transformation partner. Furthermore, with big cloud giants such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon approaching big hospitals to collaborate on cybersecurity, it is only right to ride on the wave.
Pro Medicus boasts its signature Visage software that allows radiologists to analyse reports as well as large image files churned by X-rays and other medical scans from their mobile devices. As such, the implementation of this technology further allows medical practitioners to make diagnostic decisions without being tied down to their desks. Within the firm, up to four-fifths of revenue are generated from its North American market and in the six months leading up to December 31, sales revenue climbed more than 40 per cent within the region. As a result, this further boosts the group’s revenue up by 39 per cent to achieve $29.3 million. In its first-half report, net profit after tax was revealed to have advanced 32 per cent to sit at $12.1 million.
Among many other companies on the index, Pro Medicus is one that is backed by solid financials. The debt-free company, which is valued at $2.8 billion, declared a fully franked interim dividend of 6 cents per share – a resounding 71 per cent increase compared to the previous period. Its performance was further substantiated, having secured two key contracts. The first being a $9 million five-year deal with Ohio State University’s Wexler Medical Centre and the second being a $6 million five-year deal with Palo Alto-based radiology artificial intelligence technology business Nines Inc.
Since 2019, the firm has begun its push into the inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) where it launched its AI Accelerator product to assist clients in developing and deploying their algorithms. Currently, Pro Medicus intends to develop its own AI algorithms with its first project developed alongside Yale. The breast density initiative is now pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the firm acknowledges that the broad-based usage of AI will not occur in the short term due to approval by the FDA, Pro Medicus recognises the importance of being at the top of the game given that AI will be part and parcel of future operations.
By Caroline Wong
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