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CoLumbo reads, segments, measures and classifies MRI images to provide pathology description, findings and measurements with pre-populated structured or free text report. The project has ISO 13485:2016, European Commission Seal of Excellence and there is USPTO Patent Pending US 62/882,076.

  • Automatically segments MRI images
  • Detects and measures discs, herniation, vertebral bodies, stenosis, angles etc.
  • Provides graded and measured radiology findings
  • Provides a preliminary diagnosis with a written report
  • Saves 25% of the time needed for reading and reporting
  • Errors are reduced by up to 28% compared to a radiologist not using CoLumbo

Disclaimer: The product is approved for clinical use by only radiologists as an assistant tool in the European Union. All marketing materials and statements are related to the EU version of the software.

CoLumbo Principles

CoLumbo is a software for analysis and diagnosis of lumbar spine images obtained with MRI. The purpose of CoLumbo is to assist with the reading of MRI images on the lumbar spine and to provide information on detected pathologies and abnormalities, and to reduce the time to record the readings.

The key novelty of CoLumbo lies in the unique machine learning algorithm, based on convolutional neural networks combined with medical domain knowledge, dropout regularization and packet normalization which are capable of reading MRI images, in order to provide a complete diagnosis. UNet-like architecture is used to improve the resolution.

The first step is the Segmentation of specific structures which is made on a pixel level and the use of fully convolutional neural networks allows quick segmentation maps to be generated for images of any size. Second is the identification of key points in the MRI images. After this is the measurement of distances, areas and angles. Finally, the combination of segmentation, measurements and specially applied algorithms provides the pathology description with pre-populated structured or free text report, according to the parameters described in the scientific medical literature.

Health Conditions

A few of the most common pathologies of the spine are: disc herniation, stenosis, spondylolisthesis and lordosis. They are also among the most common causes of spine surgery. Evidence indicates that lower back pain is a global and extremely serious problem that can interfere with normal life.

Currently there are situations when patients may need to wait a very long time for diagnosis and pay a very high price. CoLumbo aims in offering a reliable and accurate diagnosis of back pain problems for a fraction of the current costs. Furthermore, the platform offers a completely unbiased diagnosis with no ulterior motives. Blind study indicates up to 30% disagreement between radiologists. With CoLumbo the errors will be reduces by 10%.

Social Impact

Low Back Pain has a major economic impact with total costs related to this condition exceeding 100 Billion USD per year only in United States. Herniated discs, stenosis and spondylolisthesis are major causes for lower back pain and disability and the latter being a significant socio-economic problem all over the world. Annually there are 10 million MRI spine exams in the US alone with radiologist wages of USD 140 per hour and second opinion price of USD 50 per exam.

The main benefits of CoLumbo are lower cost, ease of use and optimal cost-result ratio. CoLumbo holds the potential to alleviate the economic burden imposed on the business as the low cost of the service will render it available to a bigger part of the population, thus helping with the implementation of preventative measures which will lower the number of chronically disabled employees.

The Team

The team working on CoLumbo is international with vast experience in project development, finance, technology and medicine. Consultants to the project are radiologists, neurosurgeons and MSK specialists from the EU and USA. The team has numerous publications in medical and technical journals.


Images used

CoLumbo uses standard DICOM images so there is no need to convert images received from MRI into other formats.

Automatic processing

CoLumbo automatically detects and displays the slices with most prominent pathology, which indicates which discs are affected, the size of the herniation, channel displacement, stenosis, etc. Our algorithm can work with almost identical accuracy on data acquired with compressed sensing that can be acquired 8 times faster. Based on the obtained localizers the software proposes the exact position and angulations of slices.

Highly confident and user friendly

CoLumbo offers an efficient and user-friendly intuitive interface. It does not require extensive specialized training. Results confirmed by a radiologist indicate 90% accuracy, 88% precision.

Pathologies detected

CoLumbo currently can detect the following pathologies: Disc Herniation; Bulging disc; Degree of compression/ impingement of nerve roots in the presence of hernia; Compression of the dural sac caused by a hernia; Position of the hernia; Presence of central spinal stenosis; Presence of spondylolisthesis; Degree of spondylolisthesis; Presence of pseudolisthesis; Presence of hypo or hyper-lordosis.

In near future CoLumbo will detect also: Juxtafacet cyst; Osteomyelitis / discitis / infection; Epidural, paraspinal subdural abscess or hematoma; Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Scoliosis; Achondroplasia; Postoperative complications; Spondylolysis; Osteoporotic fracture; Ankylosing spondylitis; Fibrous dysplasia spine; Vertebral column tumors; Cauda equina and conus medullaris tumors; Spinal vascular malformations; Spinal lipomatosis; Schmorl nodes; Anatomic variations; Modic changes - type I, II and III; Arachnoid cyst / Tarlov cyst; Scheuermann’s disease; Spondyloarthrosis; Other detectable abnormal tissue, Other abnormality without detectable abnormal tissue.

Positioning of slices

Based on the obtained localizers the software proposes the exact position and angulations of slices.


Lawrence Tanenbaum, M.D. FACR
Chief Technology Officer, Director of Advanced Imaging, Vice President, RadNet Inc.

”For most MR Practices the most common exam that we perform is the lumbar spine and AI driven tools can be highly impactful. These exams are laborious to report and far from standardized within and across practices. CoLumbo is a powerful tool that impact the quality and value of lumbar spine MR reporting, assisting in standardization, completeness and consistency.”

Samir Lounis
CEO Imapole Lyon-Villeurbanne

”Columbo is a very advanced solution to the study of Lumbar MRI. In addition to reading lumbar MRIs, CoLumbo is able to combine with the iconographic analysis, the clinical elements of the patient. The diagnoses of mechanical pathologies are already possible, arrive soon all that is infectious, post-operative complications, etc.”

Timothy Ganey, M.D.
Chief Technical Officer, VIVEX Biologics

”CoLumbo performs segmentations & various measurements of the lumbar spine MRI images in a matter of seconds. It has the potential to reach reliability similar and even above the human level. Our company used CoLumbo to measure lumbar disc heights. Thus, we were able to save time and get valuable insights.”

Douglas Beall, M.D.
Chief of Radiology Services at Clinical Radiology of Oklahoma

”AI that can interpret a lumbar spine MRI. Not only detects pathology, but it generates a radiology report as well. Combined with treatment recommendations, it can be a see-and-treat tool.”

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