The British company Perspectum Diagnostics has announced that it has received an Innovate UK grant award to develop technology that will improve the diagnosis and monitoring of type 2 diabetes. The grant will fund the development of specialized MRI powered by artificial intelligence for the examination of multiple internal organs
The work supported by the grant will involve the company stratifying patients with type 2 diabetes using quantitative MRI assessment of associated organs, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and aorta. Building on Perspectum’s existing in-house capabilities, this project will provide disease stratification, improve patient compliance, reduce costs, and enable precision treatment.
This multi-organ project was preceded by Perspectum’s MRI-based research using the UK Biobank, which highlighted the significant burden of unrecognized liver disease, such as Non- alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which is three times more prevalent in type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Gaya Thanablasingham, who specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals, believes that “this project has the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of organ dysfunction and type 2 diabetes severity. Hopefully, this will enable us to improve patient stratification, which will accelerate diagnosis of diabetes-related complications and support the development of personalized treatments.” Consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes and General Medicine at the Royal Free London, Dr. Sarah Ali, added: “Type 2 diabetes is dramatically increasing worldwide and can cause damage to multiple organs in time if not treated effectively. This innovative research study will allow us to visualize these organs early on in type 2 diabetes, which will assist pathways to stratify treatment in the management of the disease.”
Diabetes is a global pandemic, of increasing prevalence. At present, care for diabetic patients is based on routine biochemical tests that independently monitor glycemic control, cardiovascular (CV) risk, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and liver health. In order to tailor effective treatment, diagnosis must account for the presence or absence of multi-organ complications. Professor Dan Cuthbertson, Consultant Diabeteologist at University Hospital Aintree, commented on the Perspectum’s award: “The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, and with it the rate of associated liver and cardiovascular complications. Screening for these liver and cardiovascular complications is still sub-optimal and this multi-organ assessment in the diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes allows us to better understand the prevalence and progression of disease as well as the impact of different treatments. It hopefully will lead to improved treatment stratification.”