NVIDIA’s new platform, the Clara Holoscan, is zeroing in on the AI-backed medical device and robotics space. The new tool was developed to give industry stakeholders a computational infrastructure to stream data from medical devices. 

“Future medical instruments will become robotic. Recent advances in AI, physics-ML, ray tracing and the computing advances we’ve spoken about will also revolutionize medical instruments,” Jensen Huang, CEO of NVIDIA, said this morning during the GTC Keynote.

“The algorithms will be reimagined by AI. The instrument will be reinvented by edge computing architectures. The business models will be revolutionized as instrument sales will be replaced by Medical Device Software-as-a-Service solutions. … The industry needs a software-defined imaging platform to build this future on, just as the auto industry needed a software defined AV platform. Today we’re announcing NVIDIA Clara Holoscan, a software, programmable, imaging platform.”

Specifically the team at NVIDIA created the tool in order to connect medical devices with edge servers. Developers are able to tap into the platform to create an AI microservices, which is able to run on “low-latency streaming applications on devices while passing more complex tasks to data center resources.”

NVIDIA says that the platform was designed to speed up five key workflow phases, including high-speed I/O, physics processing, image processing, data processing and rendering.

The company said that the tool can be used for creating libraries and AI models, giving the example of use in ultrasound, digital pathology and endoscopy. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

Increasingly medical devices are connected and using artificial intelligence. Huang pitches this new technology as a way for medical device developers to build on current devices and assist in creating new ones in the future. 

“With Clara Holoscan UCF, instrument makers have a development platform to build real-time applications that connect these powerful engines,” Huang said. “The Holoscan platform is open, third-parties can build upon Holoscan’s interfaces and APIs, researchers can do great new science and instrument makers can integrate the Holoscan into their solutions. …

“Holoscan applications can be deployed fully in-instruments, in the hospital data center or a mixture of both. This allows companies to develop applications that require more computing than is in the device or to upgrade the installed base of the devices years after development. 

THE LARGER TREND 

Over the years, NVIDIA, which earned a name for itself in the tech space for its GPU processors, has increasingly focused on the healthcare space. In April, the company teamed up with pharma giant AstraZeneca and the University of Florida on artificial intelligence research projects focused on drug discovery and patient care. 

In 2018, the company rolled out its AI platform Clara, which was designed to use AI to create a virtual medical imaging platform. The company has since launched a Clara AI toolkit for radiologists.



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