Hours in surgery, weeks in hospitals and months of recuperation – or a five-minute procedure under local anesthesia and straight back home with no side effects.

That’s the difference that AI (artificial intelligence) developed in Israel will now be making for patients diagnosed with liver cancer.

Techsomed, a medical imaging startup, allows physicians for the first time to see exactly what’s happening in real time while they destroy (or ablate) a tumor using targeted heat through a needle.

Thermal ablation therapy, a minimally invasive procedure for small tumors, has huge benefits over surgery or chemotherapy for the patients.

But it’s rarely used because of one significant drawback, namely that interventional radiologists, the people who perform the procedure, are effectively blindfolded.

They have ultrasound images to guide them, but their view of the tumor is obscured by a fog of tiny gas bubbles thrown up as they apply heat to the tissue.

So ablation currently relies largely on the physicians’ expertise and visual assessment. Without a clear picture, it’s hard for them to precisely target all of the tumor and none of the healthy tissue.

Techsomed reasoned that if life gave them lemons – or in this case tiny gas bubbles – they were going to make lemonade. They would turn the obstacle into the solution.

Keep reading at israel21c.org.

TechsoMed Founder and CEO Yossi Abu and Chief Strategy Officer Eran Naveh are both Technion alumni.