Richard Ljuhar, ImageBiopsy Lab - Studio Interview | LSI Europe ‘22


Richard Ljuhar

Richard Ljuhar

CEO, ImageBiopsy Lad
Read Biography
CEO, Richard Ljuhar and ImageBiopsy Lab are developing a portfolio of radiographic image analysis software solutions that utilize artificial intelligence to turn data into diagnostic evidence.


Nick Talamantes  0:00  

Well, Richard, thanks for joining me here at the LSI spotlight. Tell me a little bit about what you're doing.


Richard Ljuhar  0:06  

Well, I'm the CEO and co founder of ImageBiopsy Lab, so that we are Vienna based medical SaaS company. And we are focusing on a very exclusive exclusive vertical within the medical space. It's muscle skeletal imaging diagnostics. And as CEO, I'm responsible mostly for investor outreach, but also to really shape the strategy and mission of our company.


Nick Talamantes  0:27  

Tell me a little bit about what sort of problem you're trying to solve at ImageBiopsy?


Richard Ljuhar  0:32  

Well, if you look at orthopedics or radiology, right, is physicians handle a large number of patients. And among that patient group is one of the largest actually, those which have, you know, pain and issues with their, you know, joints, you know, Bones basically. And when you look at these kind of like, patient population, which is about 50% of the adult population, the US actually, you know, that lesion comes and see doctors quite regularly. And what they've always do as a first step is to take an image, an x ray, right, CT NMR. And we've been focusing on that particular aspect of the medical kind of like workflow where we say we look at these images, and try to support the physician, in that particular instance,


Nick Talamantes  1:19  

Interesting. What is your technology doing that's maybe different or better than what's being done today?


Richard Ljuhar  1:27  

Well, when we look at how physicians read and interpret images, it's pretty much like we've done it, I would say, almost 100 years ago, we look at it manually, right? We take it, you know, we look at it in a screen, and we then derive certain medical kind of like insights out of that. And we, our mission here really, is to build software, which is, you know, based on deep learning AI, to really kind of like support the physician, that workflow to provide additional insights, which kind of like, you know, is right now done manually, but can be done or supported by a software. So the physician has actually more time to focus on what's important that workflow, which is the patient,


Nick Talamantes  2:08  

how much time are you saving physicians and healthcare in general with your technology, I imagine that the radiology process does take time when it's done manually. So what does AI add?


Richard Ljuhar  2:21  

Well, that is something which is a very interesting question actually. And when you look at the medical, you know, stakeholders and again, we address from radiology, to orthopedic surgery to the CRO market, different stakeholders have different kind of like, you know, I guess, you know, workflows. So when you look at the pure productivity gain on the radiologist side, we save up to 90% of reading time when it comes down to MSK imaging. And then of course, when you look beyond that, you know, hostel administrators, orthopedic surgeons, our software will support certain decisions, which may or may not have an impact on what treatment you may take down the road.


Nick Talamantes  2:58  

Where is image biopsy at right now, in terms of its commercial stage are, you know, are you still in development? Are you guys in market already,


Richard Ljuhar  3:07  

We are in the market for about two and a half years, as we are based in Austin, which is a fairly small market, obviously, we decided to really focus on that market to really learn understand how to deploy such a software in the medical workflow, which is usually the most complex part development of the software is quite easy. But then bringing it to the end user and making the end user happy is usually what is the challenging part. So we did a very good job. Here, we have about 180 installations 55 paying customers throughout Europe. We have four CTO product, one of the Atelier one, and are expanding from, I guess the main body parts to other body parts connecting all these different I guess modules to one holistic approach in the MSK space,


Nick Talamantes  3:51  

what comes next for ImageBiopsy? Now that you are you're already in hospitals, you've you've got customers, what's the next stage for image biopsy look like?


Richard Ljuhar  4:02  

Well, we are at this stage focusing mostly on the productivity gains. Right. So saving time making more efficient standardizing we are focusing right now very strongly on is to support the physician and has administrator to justify certain treatment options and to even predict if certain treatment options are necessary. Think of you know whether or not either hip surgery is the right time to do a hip surgery. These kind of things are next steps in our kind of like product vision.


Nick Talamantes  4:30  

I believe I read on your website that you guys are also in the oncology space as well. Could you talk about that a little bit.


Richard Ljuhar  4:38  

This is kind of like one of our moonshots, so to speak, where we actually look at detecting certain abnormalities which are connected to bone cancer for example, on X rays, we had here first project or compare x ray to PET CT for example, we had the ground truth and then try to see if we can detect these findings which we Found In PET CT was an x ray, with fairly good results. And we are working towards that, as you know, one of the next or third or fourth step to actually bring that to the end user as additional tool.


Nick Talamantes  5:10  

So tell me a little bit about how you sell at image biopsy, how do you get your product to physicians to hospitals?


Richard Ljuhar  5:18  

Well, at this stage, it's mostly a direct sales approach. So we usually go out there meet our key opinion leaders, you know, discussing our software, the benefits, right? What needs to be done better, and then from there on actually becomes almost like a snowball effect where you know, one side is using it, you know, other side is hearing about it, and then they become interested in it, and then we can we meet him without meaning we wind up with them, and then you know, kind of like install the software there. And from there on, it's a step by step approach, at this stage, down the road, if you look forward, you know, a year or two years from now, they are scale up partners, which are focusing mostly on the infrastructure side, within hospital networks, they actually focus on bringing AI to the end user. And those are partners, which we kind of focus on the, you know, mid to long, long term, because they are at the customer side, they install the software, and we are busy debugging, you know, bring our software on their platform, and then they you know, deliver that to the end user.


Nick Talamantes  6:15  

Could you talk a little bit about EMR or PACs integration? I know, that's a definitely a pain point in the US how, how does image biopsy play with other technologies out there?


Richard Ljuhar  6:26  

There's an excellent question. And this is really something which is kind of like a make it or break it kind of like thing, right in that in that industry. For us, as we have done lots of diet installation, initially, we have a fairly good and solid understanding how to integrate into, you know, packs EMR systems, you know, it's almost like you know, it is but then again, the last few miles is always a surprise, as you can imagine, probably. But I think this is very important. This is zero click installation RN so the user doesn't know that we are installed. It's just here when he or she needs it, basically, you know, when, you know, when they opened a study, I guess down the road is tied back to my previous, you know, your previous question about, you know, integration skillup is that there are there will be companies will be focused only on bringing AI vendors and platforms into the hospital network. And that's kind of where we're going to focus on long term.


Nick Talamantes  7:17  

What is the total addressable market look like for a technology such as ImageBiopsies?


Richard Ljuhar  7:23  

Well, for that to assess, you gotta consider that the market is huge, right? On a global scale, there are about 1.7 billion patients suffering for MSK diseases. And we looked at the market, we assess different market segments, what the price points would be. And we came to the conclusion that this is on a global scale market, where it is somewhere between five to 10 billion annually, depending if you include markets like China, but if you really look at Europe and the US by itself, it is about a 5 billion annual market opportunity, which we are addressing.


Nick Talamantes  7:57  

That's exciting. Is there anything else you want to share with us about what your company is doing?


Richard Ljuhar  8:03  

Well, what I'm very much excited about is that when I look at, for example, my own family history, I have in my family, you know, relatives who actually suffer, you know, from knee osteoarthritis. And these patients, these relatives actually went and see quite a number of doctors were convinced to go into surgery, knee surgery, it didn't really help the knee, it just made it worse it was the fact that the hip now until there was actually a doctor which connected knee to hip and realize that the pain doesn't come from the knee, it comes from a leg length difference, which is one of our products, x one of our you know, solutions. And by seeing that I thought, eventually, one day, I will be hopefully benefiting from such solutions. Because we all get older we all get, you know, obviously, slower when they get old. And so I want to end that interview will really bring home the point to say like, we are not trying to make someone faster, or save a few, you know, euros here and there. It's really to develop something which you and I and all of you guys actually could benefit down the road.


Nick Talamantes  9:06  

That's great. What brings you to LSI this year? You know, this is our first conference here in Europe. It's my understanding, this is your first LSI conference. So what are you trying to achieve right now?


Richard Ljuhar  9:17  

Yeah, so we are here to meet investors, present our technology, we were actually informed by a colleague who attended LSI in the US previously, and it is an excellent conference. And I have to say also that so far, we're very excited in terms of the meetings we we got, you know, confirmed that this is really cool for us to be here. And we're very excited next two days gonna be very busy. We also have a presentation here. So this is very exciting to be here. And hopefully over the next time you organize LSI to be also again here on the chair and having a conversation with you.


Nick Talamantes  9:49  

Maybe we bring it to Austria. I'd love to Richard, thank you so much. 


Richard Ljuhar  9:54  

Thank you so much. Thank you


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