Interview

AITech Interview with Dr. Ronny Shalev, CEO, and founder of Dyad Medical Inc.

Dr. Ronny Shalev Talks about how Dyad Medical is helping create a positive impact on our overall wellness and is leveraging AI for good.

1. Can you give us a brief of your career before Dyad Medical, Inc.?

I spent much of the past 25 years in executive positions, including VP of Marketing and Sales at Orbotech (NASDAQ: ORBK), where I managed Sales and Marketing teams, and Director of Program Management at Marvell Semiconductor (NASDAQ: MRVL). At the beginning of my career, I worked as a software engineer at IBM R&D in Israel developing a medical archiving system and remote analysis, which was followed by founding a start-up company. While the product never reached the marketplace, I acquired a significant amount of experience as entrepreneur. My education includes a BSc (Magna Cum Laude), MSc specializing in Robot Control and Machine vision and PhD degree specializing in in medical image processing, machine learning, and visualization, all from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. 

2. How was the initial phase of setting up Dyad Medical, Inc.? What does a regular day at work look like now?

Like any other start-up, my cofounder and I started with nothing but an idea to solve a very real problem. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and is the leading cause of death worldwide, ahead of cancer and coronavirus. By 2035, more than 130 million adults, or 45% of the U.S. population, are projected to have some form of cardiovascular diseases. Acknowledging this issue and realizing that imaging technologies lead to improved patient outcomes, we created Dyad Medical, Inc (Dyad).

Dyad Medical is a software development company that created a cloud-based AI technology for cardiac image analysis called Libby®. Over the past several months, Dyad has secured U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for Libby®, an Intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography (IVOCT) application. IVOCT imaging is the only imaging method with the resolution and contrast high enough to optimize percutaneous coronary intervention, a minimally invasive procedure used to open clogged coronary arteries.

Now that we have FDA clearance, we work day and night building strategic relationships with investors and healthcare companies. We’ve been able to qualify for grants and join programs like the BE Accelerator Program and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), which helps us grow our business in international markets.

In terms of everyday work, I am not sure that there is such thing as a “regular day” in an entrepreneur’s life. I typically wake up at 5am, go through emails in case there is an urgent matter to attend to and then I go for a 3K swim. My workday starts around 7:30am which involves communication with the team, followed by communication with outside investors, working with the FDA, interacting with collaborators, and building our customer pipeline. Each day is different, and I mostly end my work around 8pm.

3. Can you shed some light on how Dyad Medical is helping create a positive impact on our overall wellness?

In recent years we have witnessed an increased adoption rate of imaging technologies throughout the healthcare industry. This rapid increase is warranted as various studies link the use of imaging examinations to improved patient health outcomes. However, the subsequent demand for medical image interpretation skills emerges as a challenge, causing an enormous increase in workload for clinicians, leading to dangerous backlog and burnout of practitioners.

That’s why the team at Dyad Medical created the Libby®platform, a cardiac multi-modality image interpretation platform. It is designed to provide visualization and analysis through a single interface for the primary cardiac image modalities. It is scalable and accessible from anywhere, on any device providing diagnosis capabilities even to remote places where expertise may be scarce. Analysis results are available 24/7, not limited by time zone. We use artificial intelligence (AI) to power Libby®, so the system learns from the collective insight of multiple experts using millions of past images, results, observations, and conclusions. This drives the analysis and interpretation of new cardiac images. Dyad Medical’s solution guides a cardiologist in the interpretation of a case. It expands the physicians’ view, so they have greater confidence in their diagnosis, leading to greater patient satisfaction & retention. Simply put, the use of AI delivers a higher level of accuracy at a much faster speed, which ultimately increases hospital efficiency.

4. What problems are you aiming to solve? How do you think your technology and the tech tools that you created can help address this?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death ahead of COVID and cancer. To keep up with the number of patients with heart complications, cardiologist have started using imaging technologies in their daily practice. Over the past few decades, this has caused the demand for medical image interpretation skills to increase, which poses a challenge as clinicians’ workloads continue to grow leading to dangerous backlog and burnout of practitioners.

The AI-powered automated analysis that Libby® performs, dramatically reduces the time it takes for cardiologists to perform an analysis. It also helps make more accurate diagnosis. With less time to interpret the image and a more accurate diagnosis, physicians are able to provide higher quality care at a lower cost.

5. Can you brief us about your Libby software platform?

Libby® is a software platform which performs automated analysis of cardiac images. We are an organ-specific solution rather than modality specific, using AI and deep learning to support Intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography (IVOCT), Computed Tomography (CT), Echocardiogram (Echo), Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance imaging (CMR), and Cardiac Computed Tomography (Cardiac CT). Each of these modalities of imaging allows doctors to tailor a diagnosis and deliver a proper treatment plan.

Libby® designed to be easily integrated into existing workflows within healthcare. It is accessible on any device and is cloud-based, meaning physicians can access it from anywhere in the world at any time of the day.

6. Dyad Medical, Inc. is known for “Leveraging AI For Good”. What initiatives are involved in this?

My definition of the AI for Good” movement is that it places a focus on purpose along with profits as AI-based companies conduct their business activities. We aim to incorporate digital transformation into the positive transformation of humanity by building inclusive and ethical solutions.

7. Could you tell us more about your team and how they support you?

We are a small team of talented engineers, led by my co-founder. She performs all of the day-to-day management of the team, defines our road map, resolves issues, handles crises and much more. My duties include fundraising, studying the market and building relationships with our customers, vendors and investors to show them the value of our product.  

8. What are your plans for expansion and growth? Top priorities for 2022?

One of our biggest priorities for this year is to pass our products through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which involves getting out products the proper clearance and enhancing those clearances with further research. We will also focus on setting out to raise our next round of funding and building our user base.

9. What is the biggest piece of advice you would want to give to company leaders?

Try to create some value to anyone you interact with, those you need something from and those who need something from you. The teacher learns just as much as the student, and that same concept applies here.

There is value in everyone you interact with, it’s just a matter of finding it.

10. What motivates you to get up every morning? What do you take pride in when it comes to your company?

I am motivated every time we make another step towards achieving our goal. We want to provide an accurate and reliable solution to healthcare. Even more, we want to make sure our technology is easy to use so that physicians don’t think twice before using it. That is the real challenge.

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Dr. Ronny Shalev,

CEO, and founder of Dyad Medical Inc.

Dr. Ronny Shalev is CEO and founder of Dyad Medical Inc. a company that develops FDA-cleared software which automatically analyzes the content of cardiac and cardiovascular images using artificial intelligence. He has spent much of the past 25 years in executive positions, including VP of Sales and Marketing at Orbotech (NASDAQ: ORBK), where he managed teams of >100 people worldwide and Director of the World-wide Program Management at Marvell Semiconductor (NASDAQ: MRVL). An expert in developing new projects employing medical image processing, machine learning and visualization. He has a significant amount of experience as an entrepreneur and is dedicated to using his skills to help physicians make accurate decisions to improve patient outcomes. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from Case Western Reserve University.

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