In 2020, Barco is rolling out the next steps in bringing its skin imaging solution growth initiative “Demetra” to the market. The dermatology platform has completed a pilot run in Belgium and Germany and will be made available in more countries during 2020, including the USA following FDA clearance granted in December 2019
“Demetra is a clear example of Barco’s mission of enabling bright outcomes. Approximately one in three cancer diagnosis globally are skin cancer1 and, in the United States, current estimates are that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime2. As health systems around the world move to more preventative models of care, providing advanced diagnostics augmented with AI tools at the point of care will become increasingly important,” states Jan De Witte, CEO of Barco.
Co-developed with leading dermatologists, the Demetra-solution combines innovative technology with a unique design that allows dermatologists to take dermoscopic as well as clinical images and makes mapping, follow-up and comparison of skin lesions smoother and smarter. The solution integrates and blends advanced hardware and software technology and is offered to dermatologists as a service with a monthly fee payment structure. The solution was recently lauded with a Belgian Henry van de Velde Gold Award.
After several years of research and product development, Demetra was granted CE marking in the first half of 2019, a prerequisite for commercialization in Europe. Subsequently, the solution was rolled out in pilot markets Belgium and Germany. This first phase led to key learnings regarding workflow, connectivity and the ways in which Artificial Intelligence can support the healthcare professional even further. This phase also confirmed market readiness and the willingness to adopt a state-of-the-art solution like Demetra. Today, the number of pilot users is moving towards 100 whilst the number of scans performed will soon reach 10,000.
Following this first commercial test-phase, the solution is now ready to step up its go-to-market activities and to expand coverage in other regions. The USA is considered a key market for Demetra and the first preparatory step in opening up to this region was taken with the FDA-clearance granted in December 2019. Commercial launch in the US is scheduled for the second quarter in 2020.
In parallel, the Demetra team continues to investigate, develop and validate innovative AI-functionalities in line with its plan to deliver more added value to the solution and to its user base and this through quarterly software updates which can be downloaded on the device.
“The road that Barco is taking with Demetra is an exciting one that has only just begun. Our scientists have worked for years already, in close collaboration with dermatologists, on AI algorithms that have the potential to change how screening, diagnosis and follow-up of skin cancer is being done. Several advanced functionalities have reached the point where they can leave the lab environment and are ready to be integrated in our solution. For Demetra, our 2020 efforts will be focused on further expanding our user-base, moving into new regions, but also on adding exciting new clinical and workflow-functionalities to the solution,” says Tom Kimpe, Vice President Technology and Innovation.