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Angel Alberich-Bayarri

Mesa de trabajo 9movember

Deadly prostate cancer: from the blindness to the early visualization and detection

I had a friend. His name was José. A medical doctor who had specialized in gastroenterology and had no previous family history of prostate cancer, he was 65 when he decided to end his professional career after a lifetime of work, during which he had planned a pleasant retirement together with his family.

Our friendship began as a result of scientific collaboration and extended beyond science thanks to our love for gastronomy and red wine. We used to meet each other on a monthly basis to see each other and update each other around the table.

I will never forget the day I saw him crossing the door at the restaurant in a serious mood, far beyond the firmness and rectitude that characterized him. Was he worried? Was something not right? I thought to myself.

José said:

“Angel, I need to tell you something I’m concerned about. I’m having hematuria, I lost 5kg this month and my left iliac crest hurts like hell. I had a PSA test and I am over 500, do you understand what this means?”.

I perfectly did. All this information pointed to a metastatic prostate cancer.

There is a popular myth that surrounds prostate cancer and characterizes it as non-fatal or non-concerning. Although it is true that most men die ‘with’ prostate cancer and not ‘of’ it, we cannot overlook the facts and mortality rate associated with this type of cancer: about 1 in every in 41 men will die of prostate cancer and it currently stands as the second leading cause of death from cancer in men, right behind lung cancer.

Once prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate, as in the case of José, survival rates decrease significantly. For men with distant metastasis of prostate cancer, only 1 in 3 will survive for five years after diagnosis. Sadly, José passed away 2 years after receiving his diagnosis and could not fulfill his retirement dreams.

What do we need to change?

There are several complementary methods for prostate cancer detection, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages. All of them are weapons of choice in the war to detect cancer. Although Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) has low sensitivity and specificity for detecting prostate cancer, some lesions can be detected by palpation of irregularities in the prostate lobes. The Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and its derived metrics (total PSA, PSA density, PSA aged adjusted, among others) have shown a limited sensitivity of 21%¹ when a cutoff value of 4ng/mL is used [Wolf et al. 2010]. This sensitivity in high grade and advanced stage tumors can increase up to 51% of cases.

Medical imaging techniques, more specifically Multi-Parametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with a magnetic field strength of 3 Tesla, have shown to have an increasingly larger role in the detection and staging of prostate cancer. To illustrate this, multi-variate analysis of an independent cohort including age, family history, prior 5-alpha reductase inhibitor use, digital rectal examination findings, PSA level, PSA density, and MRI, showed that only MRI screening was predictive of clinically significant (Gleason score ≥7) prostate cancer diagnosis among men without a history of previous prostate biopsy [Weaver et al. 2015].²

Despite of the limitations of DRE and PSA, patients with suspicious DRE or PSA were frequently referred for a ‘blind’ prostate biopsy prior to August 2019. The term ‘blind’ refers to the fact that several cylinders containing cell samples were extracted from different regions of the prostate through transrectal or transperineal needle access.

Illustration 2. Prostate cancer representation

In August 2019, a systematic review and meta-analysis with a total of 2582 patients were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Elwenspoek MMC et al., concluding that prebiopsy MRI combined with targeted biopsy (after the identification of the lesion in the MRI) is associated with improved detection of clinically significant prostate cancer and reduces numbers of biopsy cores per procedure (77% reduction compared to systematic biopsy alone), while potentially avoiding unnecessary biopsies in 33% of cases. Ever since this momentous review, the number of prostate MRI examinations has been growing dramatically worldwide.

© skynesher | GettyImages

Illustration 3. © skynesher | GettyImages

Additionally, a structured report (Prostate Imaging–Reporting and Data System, PI-RADS 2.1) has been proposed to homogenize the radiological reporting of prostate cancer in clinical routine. The last version (version 2.1) was published in 2019 and developed by a group of international representatives from the American College of Radiology (ACR), European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR), and AdMeTech Foundation.

Standard-of-care prostate MRI examinations include the acquisition of transverse T2, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and (not always) dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) series. Beyond the conventional radiological reading, these series allow us to extract vast amounts of information relevant to lesion detection and staging through the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and the obtention of imaging biomarkers. This process can be completely automated through an analysis pipeline that sequentially carries out all of the following operations in seconds: image upload, generation of a quantitative report for urologists’ use in tumor detection, preliminary staging through imaging, and targeting of the biopsy to finally diagnose prostate cancer after a histopathological evaluation and Gleason scoring.

Illustration 4. Imaging biomarkers pipeline

Illustration 4. Imaging biomarkers pipeline

The increased volume of prostate MR examinations worldwide demands for automated AI tools that regionally analyze the prostate in a detailed manner and allow for accurate differentiation of the transitional zone, peripheral zone and seminal vesicles. The localization of the tumor is related to its stage (i.e. seminal vesicles involvement) and, therefore, the prostate gland and surrounding areas should not be considered as a whole but in an anatomy-driven manner. In summary, the prostate should not be considered a uniform ‘ball’ if we want to guarantee the success of AI tools.

Before the widespread use of convolutional neural networks (CNN) in 2012, it was not possible to automate complex tasks like prostate segmentation on MRI images. Now, thanks to AI, we have achieved it. QUIBIM, in its own war on cancer will soon provide a disruptive automated solution- efficient and standardized reporting- for prostate MRI analysis,- so stay tuned!

In the memory of my dear friend José in the Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Movember 2020


  1. Wolf AM, Wender RC, Etzioni RB, Thompson IM, D’Amico AV, Volk RJ, Brooks DD, Dash C, Guessous I, Andrews K, DeSantis C, Smith RA; American Cancer Society Prostate Cancer Advisory Committee. American Cancer Society guideline for the early detection of prostate cancer: update 2010. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Mar-Apr;60(2):70-98. doi: 10.3322/caac.20066. Epub 2010 Mar 3. PMID: 20200110.
  2. Weaver JK, Kim EH, Vetter JM, Fowler KJ, Siegel CL, Andriole GL. Presence of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Suspicious Lesion Predicts Gleason 7 or Greater Prostate Cancer in Biopsy-Naive Patients. Urology. 2016 Feb;88:119-24. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2015.10.023. Epub 2015 Nov 3. PMID: 26545849.
Lung texture outcomes in Chest Xray

Imaging, AI and radiomics to understand and fight coronavirus Covid-19

  • There is currently no effective cure for this virus and there is an urgent need to increase global knowledge in its mechanisms of infection, lung parenchyma damage distribution and associated patterns.
  • Artificial Intelligence and radiomics applied to X-Ray and Computed Tomography are useful tools in the detection and follow-up of the disease.

In December 2019 the city of Wuhan (China) became the center of a pneumonia outbreak of an unknown cause with global implications. In early 2020, Chinese scientists isolated a novel coronavirus (CoV), from patients in Wuhan, formerly  known as 2019-nCoV 1 and now renamed as Covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Patients infected with this strain present a wide range of symptoms 2, most seem to have mild disease, with about 20% appear to progress to severe disease, including pneumonia, respiratory failure and in around 2% of cases death 3. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, fever and cough 4.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). This novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain not previously identified in humans. Although this outbreak had its start in China, today there are several countries around the world with identified cases, making it a worldwide public health concern.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 13 February 2020*

Table 1. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 acute respiratory disease reported by provinces, regions and cities in China, 13 February 2020*

How could AI and imaging biomarkers aid to fight against this emerging zoonotic illness?

There is currently no effective cure for this virus and there is an urgent need to increase global knowledge in its mechanisms of infection, lung parenchyma damage distribution and associated patterns, not only for disease detection or to complement the diagnosis, but also to support the design of a curative therapy. AI and radiomics applied to X-Ray and Computed Tomography are useful tools in the detection and follow-up of the disease. As stated in 5, conspicuous ground grass opacity lesions in the peripheral and posterior lungs on CT images are indicative of Covid-19 pneumonia. Therefore, CT can play an important role in the diagnosis of Covid-19 as an advanced imaging evidence once findings in chest radiographs are indicative of coronavirus. AI algorithms and radiomics features derived from Chest X-rays would be of huge help to undertake massive screening programs that could take place in any country with access to X-ray equipment and aid in the diagnosis of Covid-19 6.


FIGURE 1: QUIBIM – Quantitative Structured Report – Chest X-Ray Classifier

In order to speed up the discovery of disease mechanisms, QUIBIM’s Chest X-Ray Classifier (Figure 1) can be used to detect abnormalities and extract textural features of the altered lung parenchima that could be related to specific signatures of the Covid-19 virus. We have combined all our knowledge in AI and radiomics in this novel analysis pipeline specifically designed to extract disease patterns. First, the Chest X-Ray is automatically analyzed using a deep learning classifier to provide an abnormality score between 0 and 1. Any abnormality score above 0.3 is considered as an abnormal case. After this initial analysis, lungs are automatically segmented using a Mask R-CNN like convolutional neural network architecture and finally, a massive extraction of texture features is applied (figure header). This pipeline has been completely automated and will serve to provide additional information to the diagnosis of Covid-19.

QUIBIM is committed to provide access to our existing AI technology to find new diagnostic tools and ways to understand the mechanisms and aggressiveness of the disease, contributing to the efforts to find a cure.  Any clinician can fill this form created by QUIBIM to get free credentials for the use of the AI Chest X-Ray classification analysis technology available in the QUIBIM Precision Cloud platform. This research tool is offered to any doctor worldwide with the need of analyzing Chest X-Rays with suspicion of Covid-19.





Rafael López González – R&D Engineer



ECR 2019 sets the trend in Artificial Intelligence

The city of Vienna was at the real core of Medical Imaging and AI at the 25th European Congress of Radiology (ECR). At QUIBIM we always enjoy being at this annual meeting because it is the perfect combination of a science and industry exhibition. In this edition, the congress reached the milestone of 30,000 attendees, and the numbers are expected to go up with each year.

QUIBIM was glad to be participating in both, the scientific and industry sessions. Our oral presentations were mainly addressing current challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) and convolutional neural networks (CNN) in clinical needs like metabolic disorder, prostate cancer and osteoarthritis. Ana Jiménez-Pastor, Rafael López-González and Fabio García-Castro, R&D Engineers at QUIBIM presented our new research in image processing pipelines aiming to perform a virtual dissection of the organs through an automated segmentation combined with features extraction.

Personally,  I was happy to give 3 lectures focused on the future of radiology: 3D Post-processing in 2019, Deep Learning in Medical Imaging and Start-up in Radiology. In the 3D Post-processing lecture I introduced, what I think is the main revolution of AI in our field the concept of Virtual In-Vivo Dissection (VIVID), a name coined by my team and I at QUIBIM, which is a strategy of isolating human body organs in medical images for  characterization through features such as imaging biomarkers. This has several applications, challenges and is difficult to solve by traditional computer vision algorithms like liver or cartilage segmentation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging but it has become a reality thanks to the use of CNN architectures such as U-Net combined with deep supervision. In the Deep Learning in Medical Imaging session, I  focused on using other presentation formats and I was glad to give a TED talk and share the podium with Dr. Wiro Niessen, who spoke about Machine Learning in a Pecha Kucha format. This session was organized by the European School of Radiology (ESOR) and was chaired by Prof. Dr. Valérie Vilgrain, and I must say the atmosphere was excellent and the room was really packed! Finally, in a session chaired by Prof. Dr. Elmar Kotter,  we shared our insights on how to create a start-up company in Radiology from scratch, how to get funding from investors and the main considerations when scaling-up.

QUIBIM was also invited by the ECR to give a presentation within the Artificial Intelligence Exhibition (AIX) sessions, a new space for innovative AI companies. During this session, moderated by Dr Hugh Harvey and Dr Wim Van Hecke, we presented the newest version of the QUIBIM Precision V3.0 platform launched at the last RSNA 2018.

Presentation of QUIBIM Precision platform at PARENCHIMA meeting in Prague, October 2018

QUIBIM continua su liderazgo en imagen médica e inteligencia artificial gestionando los datos y los algoritmos de un proyecto europeo en 25 países

QUIBIM ha sido seleccionado como el socio principal para gestionar todos los datos de imagen médica y los algoritmos de análisis de la iniciativa PARENCHIMA, un proyecto europeo de la acción COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) que se inició en abril de 2017 con el objetivo de impulsar el uso de biomarcadores de imagen calculados con resonancia magnética para mejorar el manejo de pacientes con enfermedad renal crónica. Multiples Investigadores científicos de 25 países europeos, líderes en imagen médica y enfermedad renal, utilizarán en esta iniciativa la plataforma QUIBIM Precision® para la realización de análisis avanzados. Uno de los desafíos del proyecto es centralizar los datos de imágenes médicas y los algoritmos de todos los socios para permitir la comparación entre protocolos de adquisición y algoritmos computacionales en términos de calidad y precisión. El resultado del proyecto consistirá en dos nuevos estándares para la adquisición y análisis de imágenes de resonancia magnética en la enfermedad renal crónica.

En la pasada reunión anual en Praga, los días 4 y 5 de octubre, se formalizó el acuerdo entre los socios del consorcio PARENCHIMA y QUIBIM. La plataforma QUIBIM Precision fue seleccionada como el mejor sistema para la gestión de las imágenes y de integración de los nuevos algoritmos de análisis.

Steven Sourbron, profesor de resonancia magnética en la Universidad de Leeds y coordinador del proyecto, manifestó: “Estoy encantado de que QUIBIM haya elegido asociarse con PARENCHIMA para ayudarnos a mejorar los resultados en beneficio de los pacientes, al hacer accesibles estas innovadoras y prometedoras técnicas para su uso en ensayos clínicos y manejo asistencial del paciente”. Frank Zöllner, profesor adjunto de física médica en la Universidad de Heidelberg y líder del grupo de trabajo encargado de la base de datos y el software de PARENCHIMA, comentói que “QUIBIM tiene una gran experiencia en algoritmos de inteligencia artificial y gestión de datos de imagen médica y estamos seguros de que son el colaborador adecuado que necesita este proyecto”. Angel Alberich-Bayarri, CEO de QUIBIM expresó que “QUIBIM está orgulloso de ser parte de este proyecto donde se generarán nuevos estándares de adquisición y análisis de imágenes en la enfermedad renal crónica, un escenario clínico no abordado previamente de forma conjunta. El impacto de este estudio será global y mejorará la vida de millones de pacientes, ya que esta enfermedad afecta al 10% de la población mundial.”



Hoy en día, los biomarcadores de resonancia magnética renal están infrautilizados no sólo en la investigación, pero también en la práctica clínica, principalmente debido a la falta de difusión y a la necesidad de desarrollo de técnicas propias. Transferir soluciones a otros centros donde funcionen y estén validadas es, por lo tanto, un reto todavía no resuelto, lo que conlleva una replicación significativa de esfuerzos, una falta de estandarización en los métodos y dificultades para comparar los resultados entre los centros. Esto también limita la comercialización y dificulta la creación de ensayos multicéntricos y la traslación a la práctica clínica.

El objetivo general de PARENCHIMA es eliminar las principales barreras para un estudio clínico más extenso y la consiguiente explotación comercial de los biomarcadores de resonancia magnética renal.

PARENCHIMA coordinará la investigación de los principales grupos europeos en esta área para:

  • mejorar la reproducibilidad y estandarización de los biomarcadores de resonancia magnética renal;
  • aumentar su disponibilidad desarrollando un conjunto de herramientas de acceso abierto con herramientas software y datos;
  • demostrar la validez biológica y la utilidad clínica en un estudio clínico prospectivo multicéntrico.

Para aumentar el impacto de este proyecto, hemos decidido unir nuestros esfuerzos. Más información en:



QUIBIM es una empresa de Valencia (España) que aplica inteligencia artificial y modelos computacionales avanzados a las imágenes radiológicas para medir de manera objetiva los cambios producidos por una lesión o por los tratamientos farmacológico, y ofrece información cuantitativa adicional al enfoque cualitativo de la radiología. La tecnología y los servicios de QUIBIM se aplican en la práctica clínica, los ensayos clínicos, la formación en radiología y los proyectos de investigación. Más información en:

Presentation of QUIBIM Precision platform at PARENCHIMA meeting in Prague, October 2018

QUIBIM to manage imaging data and AI for European project PARENCHIMA across 25 countries

QUIBIM has been selected as the main partner to manage all imaging data and analysis algorithms of the PARENCHIMA initiative, a COST action project initiated in April 2017 with the objective of boosting the use of renal MRI biomarkers to improve the management of chronic kidney disease patients. The leading scientific researchers in medical imaging of the kidney from 25 European countries will be using QUIBIM Precision® platform for highly advanced image analysis. One of the challenges of the project is to centralize the medical imaging data and algorithms from all partners to allow for acquisition protocols and algorithms comparison in terms of quality and precision. The outcome of the project will consist of two new standards for image acquisition and analysis in MR of the kidney.

In the past annual meeting of the consortium in Prague, which took place on 4-5 October, an agreement was established between QUIBIM and PARENCHIMA consortium partners for the selection of QUIBIM Precision platform as the best system for images management and integration of new analysis algorithms.

Steven Sourbron, Lecturer in Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the University of Leeds and project coordinator, expressed “I am delighted that QUIBIM has chosen to partner with PARENCHIMA, helping us to improve outcomes for patients by opening up these promising new methods for use in clinical trials and patient management”. Frank Zöllner, adjunct Professor for medical physics at the University of Heidelberg and leader of working group for PARENCHIMA database and software said “QUIBIM has strong expertise in AI algorithms and managing data and we are confident that they are the right collaborator for this project”. Angel Alberich-Bayarri, CEO of QUIBIM said that ”QUIBIM is excited to be part of this project, which will lead to new standards of image acquisition and analysis in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), an unaddressed clinical scenario. I am confident that the impact of this study will be global and improve lives of millions of patients, since it is a disease affecting 10% of population worldwide”



Renal MRI biomarkers are today underused in research and in clinical practice due to the need for dedicated in-house expertise and development. Transferring solutions to other centres is therefore a challenge, and this leads to a significant duplication of efforts, a lack of standardisation in the methods, and difficulties in comparing results between centres. This also limits commercial exploitation, and hinders the set-up of multi-centre trials or translation into clinical practice.

The overall aim of PARENCHIMA is to eliminate the main barriers to the broader study, commercial exploitation and clinical use of renal MRI biomarkers.

PARENCHIMA will coordinate the research of leading European groups in this area to:

  • improve the reproducibility and standardisation of renal MRI biomarkers;
  • increase their availability by developing an open-access toolbox with software and data;
  • demonstrate biological validity and clinical utility in a prospective multicentre clinical study.

In order to increase the impact of this project we are reaching out to join the efforts. More info at:



QUIBIM is a company from Valencia (Spain) which applies artificial intelligence and advanced computational models to radiological images to objectively measure changes produced by a lesion or by a pharmacological treatment, offering additional quantitative information to the qualitative approach of radiology. QUIBIM technology and services are applied in clinical practice, clinical trials, radiology education and research projects. More info at:

ESGAR Conference CCD Dublin Ireland 2018.

Co-Founder Prof. Luis Martí-Bonmatí receives ESGAR Gold Medal

During the 29th Annual Meeting and Postgraduate Course of ESGAR (European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology) held in Dublin, our co-founder, Prof. Luis Marti-Bonmati received the ESGAR Gold Medal, the society’s highest award for outstanding contributions to the scientific community.

All QUIBIM team is proud and honoured. We congratulate Prof. Martí-Bonmatí on this achievement.

ESGAR Conference CCD Dublin Ireland 2018.

ESGAR Conference CCD Dublin Ireland 2018.

Photo credit: Roger Kenny Photography

Photo legend (from left to right): Steve Halligan (ESGAR President), Luis Martí-Bonmatí (Gold Medallist), Celso Matos (ESGAR Past President), Helen Fenlon (ESGAR Meeting President 2018).

Link to Insights into Imaging post:


Ines Perea, Strategic Advisor at QUIBIM

Quibim’s Strategic Advisor Inés Perea discusses the radical disruptions that quantitative imaging analysis can provide to cancer research

Quibim’s Strategic Advisor Inés Perea discusses the radical disruptions that quantitative imaging analysis can provide to cancer research amongst other areas

Inés Perea is a Doctor that graduated with honors in the Pharmacy and Executive Business Program by Instituto de Empresa of Madrid. Mrs. Perea has extensive and versatile experience spanning more than 20 years in the Pharmaceutical industry working within different roles within the Medical, Access and Commercial (Marketing, Sales, Strategic Planning) areas and international experience in Global and regional teams. Her main area of expertise is oncology and biologics where she has been involved in the strategic planning and commercialization of more than 10 drugs/indications, most of them linked to some form of biomarker diagnosis.

How did you come to know QUIBIM before becoming their strategic advisor?

I was in contact with founder and CEO, Angel Bayarri months prior to my start with Quibim. A mutual friend of ours, a director of a large genetics biomarker laboratory in Spain was working specifically on oncology genetic biomarker testing and I would get involved with his organization in the arenas of strategic value and development, as those are two of my core competencies. I was involved in the development and strategic value of genetic/biologic biomarkers in clinical trials in oncology. It was back in the 90’s when biomarkers were a thing of science fiction. Well, he introduced me to Angel and I really thought he had a fantastic idea when it came to implementation of 3-d imaging biomarkers and using algorithms to quantitatively analyze tumors. Once I learned about Quibim’s technology, I knew that the growth could be exponential if he partnered with strategic partners.

Your field of expertise is Oncology. The Quantitative Medical Imaging field has evolved significantly but we still use RECIST criteria for evaluation of treatment responses, what do you think is the main reason for this? Standardization?

This is the foundation for therapeutic trials. It is a standard when examining patients, however, it has some practical limitations. For example, with the latest breakthrough area in oncology research, immunotherapy, many immuno-oncology drugs are known to cause fluctuations in tumor size, which when analyzed simply with RECIST criteria, would appear as an increase to the tumor size, but it is now understood that tumor fluctuations occur regularly during immunotherapy treatments, often causing the tumor to grow prior to cell DE progression, which is in fact a good sign that would be captured with RECIST criteria well after the fact. In those cases, RECIST does not allow for factoring in the context of the holistic viewpoint that quantitative digital image analysis would facilitate.

What therapeutic indications are best served by incorporating quantitative imaging analysis into clinical research trials?

There is a very simple answer to this question: any therapeutic indication where standardized radiological assessments are a primary or secondary safety or efficacy endpoint of a study. This includes solid tumors, liver diseases, brain diseases, lung diseases, and many others.

Let’s discuss costs. Quantitative imaging analysis sounds expensive. However, automation and extraction of biomarkers as soon as a hospital acquires and uploads images related to a clinical trial can and do have a macroeconomic effect of lowering costs, therefore long-term costs decrease. What do you respond with when someone brings up this objection?

You are right, it is a tremendous cost saver from a macroeconomic point of view. What will continue to help this cause are national health systems, private funding, insurers, and other payers to see the long-term cost savings and efficiencies that quantitative imaging analysis facilitates. Essentially, we need to get quantitative image analysis included in the health system reimbursement system much like traditional biomarkers of a decade ago. As a matter of fact, it took health systems quite a bit of time to include standard biomarkers that we have all grown accustomed to, included on their reimbursement schedules. While it essentially all boils down to payers and health authorities, us researchers and technology pioneers need to continue to prove medium and long-term efficiencies and validate it with radiologists, clinicians and imaging researchers. Once we are able to do that effectively, the market will adjust accordingly, it always does.

The value seems to be in real-time results that can help in both safety and efficacy outcomes. Please expand further on this thought.

Real time results are everything if you really think about it. The main benefit is obviously how this technology facilitates the real time patient care capabilities of healthcare practitioners. Safety and efficacy instant results from treatments are critical when analyzing real time clinical research data. Imaging biomarkers can and will play a tremendous role in improving patient standard of care, and ultimately can make a real impact on disease outcomes.

by: Dan Sfera, also available at:

QUIBIM se posiciona en el mercado americano analizando hábitats tumorales y enfermedades difusas hepáticas

Ha cerrado acuerdos con la compañía EnvoyAI y ha abierto oficina en Silicon Valley

QUIBIM sigue creciendo en el desarrollo de algoritmos de análisis de imágenes médicas basados en modelos biológicos y en inteligencia artificial. La compañía, que cerró el año 2017 con un crecimiento del 500% en sus métricas de negocio (número de análisis y facturación), ha avanzado con la expansión al mercado americano de sus algoritmos para cáncer y enfermedades difusas hepáticas. Entre los hitos más relevantes, además de la reciente apertura de oficina en Palo Alto (Silicon Valley, California), QUIBIM ha establecido una alianza con la empresa EnvoyAI, dedicada a la integración y distribución de algoritmos de inteligencia artificial para imágenes médicas. EnvoyAI fue adquirida el año 2016 por TeraRecon, empresa con un software de visualización radiológica que se encuentra actualmente instalado en el 85% de los hospitales de Estados Unidos.

Estos algoritmos de QUIBIM para el mercado americano, ahora mismo en proceso de certificación por la Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caracterizan tanto las diferentes subregiones o habitats internos de un tumor como analizan por biopsia virtual hepática las enfermedades difusas tipo esteatosis, sobrecarga de hierro, inflamación y fibrosis.

En el ámbito de la oncología, QUIBIM proporciona una metodología que extrae datos de textura, celularidad y proliferación vascular en los tumores, siendo aplicable en lesiones cerebrales, de mama, próstata, hígado y recto, entre los principales tumores sólidos. Esta metodología puede aplicarse a las imágenes de Resonancia Magnética y Tomografía Computarizada, proporcionando una información pronóstica sobre la evolución de los pacientes y su respuesta a los diferentes tratamientos.

En el ámbito de las enfermedades difusas hepáticas, QUIBIM proporciona un algoritmo para realizar una biopsia virtual hepática, sin dañar al paciente, a partir de las imágenes de Resonancia Magnética y extrayendo la proporción de grasa, concentración de hierro y proporciones de inflamación y fibrosis hepática. Este análisis es de especial relevancia para el estudio y seguimiento de la esteatohepatitis y la hemocromatosis, y en la evaluación de la historia natural y su modificación por el tratamiento en las hepatopatías crónicas y la cirrosis. Actualmente esta información se obtiene a partir de biopsias convencionales, lo que implica un riesgo para el paciente y un sesgo inherente al procedimiento dado que sólo se obtiene información del lugar de la punción, mientras que el algoritmo de QUIBIM permite obtener información de todo el hígado de manera segura.

En palabras de su CEO, el Dr. Ángel Alberich-Bayarri, resumiendo estos hitos “estamos en una fase muy intensa de la compañía y con un crecimiento significativo, y gracias al esfuerzo del equipo hemos podido acelerar varios hitos que teníamos previstos en fases más tardías, como por ejemplo la alianza con EnvoyAI, la solicitud a FDA y la apertura de oficina en EEUU. Los algoritmos que hemos seleccionado para este mercado aportan un valor diferencial que ya hemos podido verificar, recibiendo solicitudes desde algunos hospitales antes de iniciar acciones comerciales.”

QUIBIM es una empresa biotecnológica nacida en Valencia y está especializada en la extracción de información cuantitativa de las imágenes médicas radiológicas y de medicina nuclear, mediante técnicas originales y avanzadas de procesamiento computacional. Estos parámetros extraídos reciben el nombre de Biomarcadores de Imagen y aportan rasgos extraídos de las imágenes médicas, relacionadas con procesos biológicos normales, enfermedades o respuestas terapéuticas.

Además, el equipo ha desarrollado la plataforma QUIBIM Precision® de análisis de imágenes médicas en la nube, que puede instalarse en versiones privadas para hospitales y para compañías farmacéuticas que desarrollen ensayos clínicos. A partir de imágenes de rayos X, Ecografía, TAC, Resonancia Magnética o PET, QUIBIM es capaz de aplicar algoritmos avanzados de análisis con metodologías basadas en procesamiento por GPU (unidades de procesamiento gráfico), Machine Learning o Big Data. El software de QUIBIM permite aportar una mayor información en los diagnósticos y poder evaluar de forma temprana la respuesta a los tratamientos farmacológicos. La compañía fue seleccionada en 2017 para el programa SME Instrument Fase II de la Comisión Europea.

QUIBIM Imaging Biomarkers made transparent

QUIBIM, AI imaging disruption to showcase the value of Precision

We are in the era of Precision Medicine, and so is Radiology. Nowadays, main imaging modalities like X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), positron emission tomography (PET) and hybrid machines, among others, have become measurement instruments. Images are not only pictures anymore, but thanks to the application of computational analysis and artificial intelligence, they are data, as you can learn in this excellent manuscript in Radiology.

Nowadays, when radiologists perform measurements of different organs, tissues and lesion properties using a workstation, they are used to get a number (i.e. lesion volume or perfusion). If they take the same images and they get to analyze them in a workstation from another vendor (not straightforward), it is pretty sure that they will obtain different results. This issue has introduced a sense of lack of standardization and homogenization in the quantitative medical imaging field.

I like to say that value is to trust in the product, and we have decided to be the first company in the world to open the validation process and tests results of our imaging biomarkers. Every time we buy a measurement device for daily life purposes (i.e. thermometer) we know the degree of uncertainty, why wouldn’t we do the same in AI algorithms and quantitative imaging?

We are proud to make this announcement at ECR 2018: Now it is possible to see the precision, accuracy and clinical evaluation results of our imaging biomarkers. We provide the precision (through Coefficient of Variation, CoV) and accuracy (through relative error, e) values through the publication of QUIBIM Technical Datasheets that you can find in the resources section of our webpage.

With this strategy QUIBIM is going a step further by being the first multi-vendor, web-based and real precision Medicine company of the medical imaging & AI market.

Concerned by the accuracy of your measurements? Let’s work together.



QUIBIM es un proyecto empresarial de alto impacto social y sanitario, que extrae información cuantitativa de las imágenes médicas radiológicas, mediante técnicas innovadoras y avanzadas de procesado computacional, con el objetivo de mejorar los procesos de diagnóstico de enfermedades con alta incidencia y evaluar adecuadamente los cambios que producen los tratamientos farmacológicos en el organismo.

Durante 2016 el proyecto de internacionalización QUIBIM ha recibido la ayuda IVACE – PREPARACIÓN DE PROPUESTA PARA CONVOCATORIAS DEL PROGRAMA MARCO  H2020 DE INVESTIGACIÓN E INNOVACIÓN 2014-2020  (IMAPEA/2016/38) con el apoyo del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) con el objetivo de presentar nuestros servicios de diagnóstico y análisis avanzado de imagen médica y dar a conocer nuestra plataforma de análisis QUIBIM Precision® para el análisis de Biomarcadores de Imagen.