Connecting the world’s radiologists in an AI-supported collective

DIGITAL HEALTH Collective Minds Radiology’s digital platform brings together more than 8,000 radiologists from all over the world in a space where they share knowledge and experience that results in better diagnoses and more equal care.

Collective Minds Radiology was born out of the frustration that healthcare was so sluggish to take advantage of digitalisation. Founders Johan Norling and Anders Nordell saw how digitalisation increased the pace of delivery in industry after industry, while healthcare barely left the starting blocks.
“We asked ourselves why healthcare couldn’t have the same benefits as other sectors. We had experience from industry and healthcare, which made it obvious to us to ask the question,” says Anders Nordell, founder and CEO of Collective Minds Radiology.

Their shared frustration was backed up by a survey of some 150 radiologists that confirmed the need for digital decision support in radiology. Together with IT expert Pär Kragsterman and Professor Lennart Blomqvist, specialist in diagnostic radiology at Karolinska Institutet, they started to develop a digital platform for radiologists. KI Innovations helped in the early stages with business coaching and innovation support.

Three offerings in one

Today, the company has three offerings all based on the digital collaboration platform. It can be used for training, research and development, and as a community and decision support function for radiologists.
“It’s unusual for a startup to have three ideas, of course. But our primary goal is to build close collaboration with the healthcare system and having more offerings makes this easier. We make ourselves more relevant because most people need one of our services,” says Nordell.

To date, approximately 8,000 radiologists worldwide have joined the platform. They can share difficult-to-interpret X-ray images with each other, without sharing patient data. All material is de-identified during uploading and stored in accordance with GDPR and applicable data legislation.
“We have lots of users who use our platform on a daily basis as an interactive encyclopaedia. They tell us that it has made a big difference to their daily lives.”

Thousands of international colleagues

The system is especially beneficial for those who do not have immediate colleagues to discuss their problems with. The platform provides them with thousands of new colleagues who are often extremely knowledgeable in their fields.
“Among the most fascinating examples is a group of radiologists in Fiji who have suddenly received daily support from doctors across Europe. There’s no access to further education in Fiji, so they’re self-taught, and this has become an important resource for them,” says Nordell.

The digital platform has also become a training tool. Collective Minds Radiology is working with several training companies that use the platform as part of their training material. In addition, several research projects use the platform as a shared space for research collaboration. The company is also currently partnering with two EU Horizon 2020 projects, which seek to develop AI methods to improve cancer care.

Collective Minds Radiology has about 10 AI partners with almost 20 different AI models for X-ray images. The goal is to expand the use of AI and encourage technological development in the field.
“We want to be a bridge between healthcare and tech development companies by helping them validate new methods against actual patient data in a safe and legally correct way.”

Although the company was founded as recently as 2017, it already has several European offices. It opened most recently in Denmark and previously in the UK. Collective Minds Radiology has always had an international flavour: technical development was established early on in Barcelona, for example.
“This gave us a different mindset from day one. We were already a European company back then, with headquarters and clinical expertise in Stockholm. This has made it easier for us to grow rapidly,” says Nordell.

Text: Magnus Trogen Pahlén.
Photo: Håkan Lindgren.

Radiologist of the Month

Every month, one of the radiologists in the network is named “Radiologist of the Month”. In brief interviews, they share their tips and experiences of the platform, and can suggest new features and collaborations.

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