Azra AI identifies cancer diagnoses in real-time

Technology already in use in over 200 hospitals

Three words every person fears hearing: “You have cancer.”   

For most people, the shock of a cancer diagnosis quickly gives way to an action plan — disease research, doctor appointments, treatment options, and support outlets. But many patients are not able to take these steps or advocate for themselves. Some simply don’t know how to move forward, which results in more complicated and expensive care, reduced life expectancies, and inferior health outcomes.

Azra AI’s platform disrupts the manual and repetitive processes in healthcare to identify positive cancer diagnosis and incidental findings in real time, classify those diagnoses by primary site, and route those patients to cancer navigators and other staff to immediately start the cancer care journey. The results include faster time to treatment, increased navigator time with patients, and better patient retention in a health system’s oncology program. In addition, Azra AI’s platform improves healthcare operations with dramatic operational and financial gains through automation.

More specifically, this new technology decreased time from diagnosis-to-treatment by seven days across all cancer types, improved patient retention by 75 percent and increased revenues over 10 percent in the first 14 months of use. 

Azra AI’s technology is making a tremendous impact in the oncology realm and is being used by HCA Healthcare, the largest for-profit health system in the United States, and other leading healthcare organizations. 

Dr. Richard Geer, physician-in-chief of surgical oncology at HCA, said that Azra AI’s platform has provided insight on what he calls the denominator of cancer care.

“Now that we know the denominator, or the number of diagnosed patients per year, we can size the programs, including nurse navigators, and needs for the system,” he said. “In one of our markets, we have really good systems for pancreatic surgeons. We can now look at every diagnosis across the region and make the program really work and get patients to where they need to be – the right patient, the right treatment and at the right time.”

Healthcare leaders have also found that the Azra AI platform performs better than manual processes and completes reviews much faster. A recent analysis of one health system’s records using the Azra AI platform found that the technology identified 99 percent of positive cancer cases in pathology reports that had previously been manually reviewed by healthcare staff.

With funding from Sopris Capital and FCA Venture Partners, Azra AI acquired the healthcare assets of the company formerly known as Digital Reasoning. This move will allow Azra AI to expand and accelerate its industry-leading solutions across oncology and other healthcare service lines.

“We are already helping thousands of cancer patients and clinicians everyday with our AI-enhanced intelligent workflows,” said Azra AI CEO Chris Cashwell. “With the crisis in nurse staffing and uncertainty of post-COVID cancer patient volumes, our technology can be a lifeline to clinicians and a life saver for patients. From finding incidental lung nodules to reducing time to treatment, providers are having a profound impact using our technology.”

Michelle Marshall, System Vice President of Business Development and Strategy of Inspira Health, said in the first year since implementation, Azra AI has saved staff countless hours by combing through CT scan results with exceptional speed and accuracy. Inspira Health is a New Jersey-based health system with more than 1,200 healthcare providers at three hospitals and two cancer centers.

“Their AI component has allowed us to identify and connect with patients who have incidental pulmonary nodules and were likely not aware,” she said. “This information is provided in real time and gives us the potential to find lung cancer earlier, when it’s easier to treat.”

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