IBM Watson Health and French diagnostic imaging solutions firm Guerbet have entered an exclusive joint development agreement for an artificial intelligence (AI) software solution in liver imaging.

The project, intended to support liver cancer diagnostics, will leverage CT scan and MRI imaging and care.

The companies, through this partnership, intend to co-develop clinical decision support solutions to help physicians in treatment recommendations and follow-up care for liver cancer.

“The project, intended to support liver cancer diagnostics, will leverage CT scan and MRI imaging and care.”

Initially, a diagnostic support tool called Watson Imaging Care Advisor for Liver will be devised to leverage AI for automating the identification, staging, tracking, monitoring, therapy prediction and response of primary and secondary liver cancer.

Furthermore, the partners plan to make the solution compatible with the most common PACS visualisation systems in order to allow easy and direct integration into the workflows.

IBM Watson Health Imaging vice-president Anne Le Grand said: “Imaging is a critical area of healthcare where we believe AI can be used to expand the physician’s view so they can be more informed in their diagnostic and treatment decisions for their patients.

“We are excited to bring together the significant respective expertise of IBM and Guerbet to advance innovation in this important field, and ultimately help combat the challenge of liver cancer globally.”

The Care Advisor for Liver is set to be included under a range of decision support tools powered by its image analytics that can inform diagnostic decisions of radiologists to their patients.

Guerbet chief digital officer François Nicolas said: “We look forward to working with IBM Watson Health on Guerbet’s first project aimed at better-assisting radiologists with augmented intelligence. This will help us grow our capabilities in AI to enable innovative solutions improving care pathways.”

The research team at IBM will also utilise previous research innovations to create additional solutions.