Itamar Kandel, CEO of Vista.ai Shares his Views on its Commercial Agreement with Siemens Healthineers for AI-Driven MRI Scanners

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Itamar Kandel, CEO of Vista.ai Shares his Views on its Commercial Agreement with Siemens Healthineers for AI-Driven MRI Scanners


  • Itamar gave a brief overview of Vista.ai’s agreement with Siemens Healthineers to co-market a new product that brings MRI scan sequences into one automated exam protocol
  • He elaborated on how Vista.ai’s One Click MRI acquisition software reduces cardiac MRI (CMR) exam times, simplifies workflows, and improves image consistency
  • The interview shows how Vista.ai is utilizing the power of artificial intelligence through its One Click MRI acquisition software and working towards its goal to make MRI available to everyone

Smriti: Shed some light on the commercial agreement between Vista.ai and Siemens Healthineers.

Itamar Kandel: Vista.ai and Siemens Healthineers entered into a joint commercial agreement to co-market an integrated offering that brings best-in-class MRI scan sequences into one automated exam protocol. This new product offering will allow customers to combine Vista.ai’s built-in sequences and Siemens Healthineers’ native sequences with their individual clinical practices. 

Smriti: Please brief our readers about Vista.ai’s One Click MRI acquisition software.

Itamar Kandel: Vista.ai’s AI-driven, the software-only solution automates the acquisition of diagnostic-quality MRI images, dramatically simplifying and shortening the exam. The company initially targeted cardiac MRI (CMR) as it is increasingly considered the gold-standard cardiac diagnostic, yet the heart is a notoriously difficult and time-consuming anatomy to scan.

Today, specially-trained CMR technologists need to perform the exam, and in the U.S., there is only one such technologist for every 20 MRI machines. One Click MRI’s benefits include a far simpler, less stressful workflow, improved image consistency, and a more comfortable patient experience. The software is designed so that any MRI technologist can perform a CMR in their hospital’s regular mixed-use MRI time slot. 

Smriti: How has Vista.ai’s One Click MRI acquisition software changed the scenario of CMRs (Cardiac MRI) in U.S. hospitals?

Itamar Kandel: A standard CMR is complex and unpredictably long – taking upwards of 60 minutes to complete – causing unnecessary stress and burnout for clinicians and discomfort for patients. For an expensive piece of medical equipment with limited, if any, excess capacity, this additional time comes at a cost: namely, fewer scans per day across the universe of patients who need them.

A clinical adaptation study on Vista.ai’s One Click MRI™ software, led by Dr. Raymond Kwong, Director, Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, found that full AI-assisted scans – where a technologist uses One Click MRI to oversee the exam with no manual operation – were 31% shorter than non-AI scans. The study further found that 90% of full AI-assisted scans were completed within 45 minutes, while only 25% of unassisted scans were completed within that timeframe. And full AI-assisted scan times were threefold more consistent than unassisted scan times. Both had minimum times of 26 to 27 minutes; however, maximum times were 64 minutes versus 161 minutes, respectively.

Smriti: As mentioned, Vista.ai’s mission is to make MRI available to everyone, highlight how One Click MRI acquisition software has helped Vista.ai take a step towards achieving its mission.

Itamar Kandel: Currently, access to CMR and its superior diagnostic capabilities is constrained due to long exam times and a shortage of trained technologists. Because Vista.ai increases MRI scanner throughput, patients can receive scans more quickly and hospitals can perform more exams each year.

Smriti: Elaborate on what is Cardiac MRI (CMR). Why is it considered the “gold standard of cardiac diagnostics”?

Itamar Kandel: CMR is a noninvasive procedure that offers unparalleled clinical insights, including heart function, muscle scarring, blood flow patterns, tissue characterization, and angiography. Notably, in October 2021, the American Heart Association (AHA) added its overwhelming support to CMR use when it updated its clinical guidelines to include the modality as a Class 1 Recommendation for stable angina.

Material to the AHA’s redesignation were results from the 2019 MR-INFORM trial. MR-INFORM found that using myocardial-perfusion CMR to guide care for patients with stable angina and a risk of coronary artery disease offered similar one-year outcomes to patients receiving invasive coronary angiography combined with fractional flow reserve (FFR). Moreover, patients who underwent a CMR were subjected to significantly lower incidence of invasive coronary angiography and revascularization than those who underwent FFR.

Smriti: After the U.S. in which geographical locations does the company plan to commercialize the One Click MRI acquisition software?

Itamar Kandel: Countries that follow/adopt the U.S. FDA 501(k) clearance and EU CE-mark guidelines, as well as markets that have recognized and adopted CMR as the preferred diagnostic for the myriad cardiac conditions mentioned, are some of the more obvious targets.

Smriti: Is Vista.ai looking forward to any other collaboration(s) to co-market One Click MRI acquisition software?

Itamar Kandel: As we are now in scale-up mode, we will constantly be on the lookout for value-added partnerships and collaborations that help us grow our customer base in a way that is aligned with our company mission and product strategy.

Image Source: Canva 

About the Author:

Itamar Kandel is the CEO of Vista.ai. Itamar pivoted the company to focus on the clinical MRI markets, closed deals with luminary hospitals such as Stanford Health Care and Cleveland Clinic, raised millions of dollars from institutional investors, and led the company's strategic alliances with the world's largest MRI manufacturers. As TigerConnect’s President and Chief Strategy Officer, Itamar launched a new Platform-as-a-Service offering, signing up customers like Salesforce Health Cloud and Amgen, and built the Post Sales department of the company that significantly increased product activation and engagement, while reducing churn.

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Senior Editor

Senior Editor at PharmaShots. She is curious and very passionate about recent updates and developments in the life sciences industry. She covers Biopharma, MedTech, and Digital health segments along with different reports at PharmaShots.

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