The detection and quantification of arterial calcifications has important implications for heart disease risk
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Feb. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Volpara Health is proud to announce that it has been granted a patent on a new method for the detection and quantification of breast arterial calcifications (BACs), by the US Patent and Trademark Office (patent number 11,246550). The method described in the patent demonstrates Volpara’s commitment to improving women’s health through science and innovation and expands Volpara’s global patent portfolio to 99.
BACs are medial calcifications of the mammary arteries (inappropriate and pathological depositions of mineral in the form of calcium phosphate salts). Generally considered as a benign and incidental finding from an oncological perspective, BACs have been demonstrated to be associated with chronic kidney disease, bone mineral density reduction, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and strokes.1,2,3,4,5
Most clinical research correlating BACs with the risk of coronary artery disease has relied on the absence versus presence of BACs, or semi-quantitative BAC metrics with large uncertainty and standard deviation. Consequently, there have been inconsistent findings.6 That was exactly the same situation as with breast density measurement until researchers made the field much more quantitative and objective by using more automated algorithms.
While a commercial software product that can detect and quantify BACs during routine mammographic screening, using this data then predict a patient’s risk of heart disease will require further development. This latest patent—which builds off Volpara Health’s approach to quantitative and objective breast density scoring—is a significant advance. Using breast tissue composition and anthropomorphic measures, a tissue composition map that identifies BACs can be created from a mammogram. Subsequently, a score is generated that indicates the likelihood of heart disease resulting from these calcifications.
This patent is a natural evolution for Volpara Health to continuously improve women’s health by utilizing the clinical data available from mammograms and to help optimize clinical decision support using automated, AI-based software tools to derive quantitative and objective clinical scores. This innovation aligns with the company mission to save families from cancer.
“This patent is an important advancement in patient care. Being able to quantify breast arterial calcifications has the potential to take what are often considered incidental, insignificant findings on a mammogram, and triage patients to cardiac care and interventions,” said Volpara CEO Ralph Highnam.
Volpara Health technology is protected by a portfolio of international patents, including 99 granted patents and 130 patents in progress.
About Volpara Health
Volpara Health provides an advanced AI software platform that works with a healthcare provider’s expertise to enable a high-quality, optimized, and personalized cancer screening experience. From the time a patient enters a clinic to the moment they obtain key results, the Volpara Breast Health Platform collects and analyzes information to better understand a patient’s breast cancer risk, while also objectively evaluating image quality and workflow-improvement opportunities. These capabilities are being extended to lung cancer screening. The Volpara Breast Health Platform is supported by numerous patents, trademarks, and regulatory registrations, including FDA clearance and CE marking, and is validated by a volume of peer-reviewed publications unrivaled in the breast screening industry. For more information, visit https://www.volparahealth.com.
Chris K. Joseph