WCPO: UC-backed startup aims to use AI to detect heart disease

Genexia sees data available through mammograms as key to early detection

A University of Cincinnati-backed startup is developing explainable artificial intelligence to better diagnose coronary artery disease risk in women, WCPO reported.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States and worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 500,000 women die annually as a result of heart disease.

Genexia, founded by Kelly Cohen, Dino Martis and Anoop Sathyan, aims to use explainable AI in mammograms for early detection of coronary artery disease to significantly reduce deaths and quality of life degradation for women.

“Today, 500,000 women die of heart attacks,” Martis, Genexia’s CEO, said. “I would love to see in the future, we cut that number in half because of innovations such as ours. That would make the world a better place to live in.”

Genexia has received a lot of investor interest and once funding has been secured, a clinical trial will enroll 2,000 women, collecting data that will be used to train explainable AI models to identify breast density and diagnose coronary artery disease risk through information found in mammograms.

“[Women] do not show the symptoms that men do,” said Cohen, Genexia chairman of the board, director of AI Bio Lab at Digital Futures and the Brian H. Rowe Endowed Chair in aerospace engineering at UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. “But they do have mammograms more often than men. Now we have the opportunity because that evidence is there.”

See more from WCPO.

Featured image at top: A woman receives a mammogram. Photo/Rhoda Baer, National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

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