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2006 MAR 13 - (NewsRx.com) -- Health Discovery Corp. (HDC) announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the company its latest SVM-related patent, Patent No. 6,996,549, covering the use of multiple Support Vector Machines (SVM) for processing different types of data that can be extracted from digitized images such as those found in digital mammography.
Last fall, the New England Journal of Medicine reported a landmark breast cancer screening trial showing that digital mammography detected more cancers - up to 28% more - than screen film mammography in certain groups of women.
Millennium Research Group, a medical device analysis firm, has predicted significant growth in the market for digital breast imaging, from about $200 million in 2004 to more than $450 million by 2009. A key to successful market growth will be implementation of computer-aided detection software, such as that covered by HDC's newest patent. HDC now owns 17 issued U.S. and foreign patents covering uses of SVM pattern recognition technology.
Most currently available software for digital mammography rely on artificial neural networks. Neural network classification methods, which have been in use for image classification for a decade or more, suffer from a number of drawbacks that negatively impact their reliability. Published research has shown that SVM's are superior to neural networks in characterizing microcalcification clusters in digitized mammograms.
"This latest issuance adds considerable strength to our entire SVM intellectual property portfolio," said Stephen D. Barnhill, MD, HDC's chairman & CEO. "We now hold pioneer patents covering a range of SVM applications from preprocessing all the way through to instantaneous diagnosis and monitoring of diseases over the Internet. This presents the opportunity for physicians around the world to gain point n' click access to the most advanced computer assisted diagnostic (CAD) tools for analysis of blood, tissues, and all digital images such as X-rays, MRI's, PET scans, and others."