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Alexander Ciritsis, co-founder & CTO, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #323 - Alexander Ciritsis: Medtech AI for Early Cancer Detection

Alexander Ciritsis

June 1, 2023

6:48 - The market gap in radiology

15:47 - The accurateness of AI models

17:31 - Software patenting

26:35 - b-rayZ’ subscription model

33:02 - Going international from day 1

About Alexander Ciritsis:

Alexander Ciritsis is the co-founder and CTO at b-rayZ, an AI medical software for breast cancer early detection. He holds a PhD in Medical Science from RWTH Aachen University and was a researcher at University Hospital Aachen and Universitätsspital Zürich before starting b-rayZ in 2019.

During his time as a research scientist in the medical field, Alexander Ciritsis noticed a clear gap in the radiology market: not only is there a lot more data for radiologists to analyze nowadays (a CT scan takes 12 secs to give you 128 slides, whereas 10 years ago it took 5 min to provide 30 slides), but only 10% of radiologists and radiographers are breast imaging specialists, in spite of the growing number of exams performed globally (270M+). Add to that the fact that breast density (a factor which varies naturally from person to person) makes catching lesions and cancer more difficult, and that it’s up to the physician to determine whether or not the breast is dense enough to warrant further testing, and you’ve got a perfect storm for malpractice suits.

b-rayZ offers an AI solution that provides standardized, reproducible and real-time classification of breast density with a proven accuracy of 93%. This means that people with dense breasts are more likely to be directed towards further testing, and so the likelihood of breast cancer being detected early on and successfully combated by cancer treatments increases. b-rayZ does not claim to diagnose cancer themselves: they simply help smooth and improve the workflow that does detect it. They haven’t patented their code (since people could code around the patent anyways) but they have patented the process of training and developing their AI software. 

Currently they are looking forward to expanding into the US market, and in 2022 they raised a CHF 4 million round partially funded through the Swisspreneur Syndicate.

Memorable quotes:

"Outsource as little as possible. Your IP is your most precious asset, and you need to protect it."

"You need to find the tedious tasks in a department which can and need to be standardized — then AI is your friend."

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