Anivive, a pet health technology company transforming the therapeutic discovery and development process, announced the publication of « Detecting Pulmonary Coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) with Deep Convolutional Neural Networks, » which highlights their work on improving diagnostics for the detection of Valley Fever, a systemic fungal disease, in dogs.
Valley Fever is detected through radiological (X-ray) examination of the lungs. AI-powered software has now been proven to have diagnostic capabilities following the incorporation of thousands of canine chest X-rays obtained during the development phase of a vaccine for Valley Fever in dogs.
Using machine learning models, the software has been trained to analyze radiographic images, looking for the presence of abnormalities with specific patterns that indicate Valley Fever. The software then generates a diagnostic as well as an easy-to-interpret heatmap to make disease detection immediately clear to veterinary healthcare teams.
Analysis and report generation is rapid. Radiographic images are classified in less than 50 milliseconds and heatmaps are produced in less than one second. The speed and accuracy of this diagnostic module makes it ideal for future use by veterinary professionals. With fast and accurate diagnosis of Valley Fever, treatment can start right away, leading to better prognosis and decreased treatment costs.
« We are excited to continue adding additional data that will further optimize the imaging module, » says primary investigator, Pierre Baldi, PhD., Director of the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics at UC-Irvine. « We plan to apply this technology to develop rapid diagnostic tools for other diseases veterinary teams encounter every day. »
Valley Fever is a debilitating systemic fungal disease that affects millions of dogs every year. Treatment requires months, and often a lifetime, of expensive antifungal therapies. In Arizona alone, pet owners currently spend more than $60M annually to treat dogs affected by the disease. There has been a 500 percent increase in reported cases since 2000, with spread linked to climate change. Today, more than 30 million dogs live in or travel to the Western and Southwestern United States where Valley Fever is prevalent.
A first-in-class vaccine to prevent Valley Fever is one of several therapeutics in Anivive’s pipeline. To learn more, visit anivive.com/vaccines.
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