HeartVista to Expand Beyond Heart MRIs, Changes Name to Vista.ai to Reflect Wider Focus


HeartVista, a pioneer and leader in automated MRI solutions, announced that it has changed its name to Vista.ai as the company broadens its sights to simplify and enhance MRI exams for anatomies beyond the heart. A major academic medical center has already begun a clinical study to evaluate the software for use with the prostate, and Vista.ai plans to launch a similar study for musculoskeletal scans in the near future.

Vista.ai’s One Click MRI AI-driven software-only solution makes it easier to acquire high quality MRI images by automating the exam workflow. The company initially targeted cardiac MRI (CMR) as it is increasingly considered the gold-standard cardiac diagnostici, yet the heart is a notoriously difficult and time-consuming anatomy to scan. Today, specially-trained CMR technologists need to perform an exam, and in the U.S., there is only one such technologist for every 20 MRI machinesii. One Click MRI’s benefits include simple, streamlined workflows and improved image consistency, so any MRI technologist can complete a cardiac scan in a regular mixed-use MRI time slot.

Vista.ai is demonstrating One Click MRI this week at Booth 5143 in the AI Showcase during RSNA exhibit hours. In addition, Raymond Y. Kwong, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCMR Director of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will share case studies and research findings using the software in his clinical cardiac MRI practice.

Vista.ai developed One Click MRI using sophisticated and versatile AI-based algorithms that would be scalable to other types of MRI scans. The company chose the prostate and spine as its next candidates because of known challenges with those exams and the number of people who could benefit. In the U.S., more than 10 million people receive prostate and spine MRI scans annually, 25% of the total MRI volume.iii

“Given the complexity of manual CMR, and the millions of patients who could benefit from the exam, it was clear that applying our automation technology to the heart would create enormous value in the market. Despite the evidence-backed advantages of MRI for diagnosing a myriad of heart conditions, only 2% of scans today are CMRsiv yet 700,000 people are dying of heart disease each year in the U.S.v,” said Itamar Kandel, Vista.ai’s CEO. “But we always knew it was just the beginning. Once we had the most complex anatomy tested, validated, adopted and endorsed by several elite medical institutions, we planned to roll out to other anatomies that would share in the benefits we have shown for numerous heart diseases.”

Each year clinicians in the U.S. conduct almost 40 million examsvi on the approximately 12,000 MRI machines installed in the country.vii But MRI scanners are only beneficial if trained healthcare professionals are available to run the exam, which is an escalating concern. In 2019, the U.S. had 20,000 fewer healthcare professionals than necessary to meet the needs of Americansviii, a situation that only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Radiologist and technologist burnout is at a breaking point, which has only worsened since the pandemic given the exodus of medical professionals, backlog of imaging cases and increasing incidence of COVID-related illnesses, such as myocarditis and pericarditis,” said Dr. Scott Flamm, Section Head of Cardiovascular Imaging at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “To address the staffing shortages – particularly for challenging, time-consuming procedures like CMR – we are in earnest need of automation technologies like Vista.ai’s One Click MRI to ensure patients anywhere can receive the quickest possible diagnosis and treatment.”