Ubie, CSRF team to use AI platform to cut Cushing’s diagnosis time

Effort is designed to confirm diagnostic capacity of Symptom Checker

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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Ubie and the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation (CSRF) have teamed up to raise awareness and shorten the time people with Cushing’s syndrome have to wait for a diagnosis.

The long-term collaboration seeks to confirm the diagnostic capacity of Ubie’s free, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform called Symptom Checker and improve its ability to screen for Cushing’s symptoms.

The effort will harness CSRF’s community of patients and patient advocates to provide feedback and ensure the platform can discriminate and identify Cushing’s symptoms, with the goal being aiding undiagnosed patients to receive proper medical care.

“This partnership with Ubie supports our mission of increasing awareness of Cushing’s disease and uses our collective expertise to help reduce the impact of the disease,” Leslie Edwin, president of the CSRF, said in a press release.

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Putting Symptom Checker to work in diagnosing Cushing’s

Cushing’s syndrome, a group of disorders that include Cushing’s disease, is marked by high levels of cortisol, a hormone made by the adrenal glands atop the kidneys. Cortisol is involved in many functions, from helping deal with stress to controlling blood pressure and the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

As Cushing’s symptoms often overlap with those of other diseases, patients can face delays in reaching a diagnosis, which can take up to several years.

“Cushing’s is considered the most difficult endocrine [hormone-related] disease to diagnose and treat,” Edwin said. “An AI disease predictor can be a game-changing tool if it is trained by people living with the disease, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with a company whose mission is aligned with the needs of our community, including earlier treatment and better quality of life.”

Symptom Checker is free and accessible to everyone, even for those with limited access to specialty care. As part of the collaboration, the quiz has been tweaked to better allow patients to describe their symptoms.

According to Ubie, Symptom Checker users will have access to an immediate action plan the platform will generate based on global diagnostic data gathered over decades and the best advice from patients. Links to helpful resources and support, like CSRF, will also be available.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to work with the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation, which has been a driving force in education and awareness around Cushing’s disease,” said Kota Kubo, Ubie’s co-founder and co-CEO. “AI is a general term, but patient journeys are nuanced and specific. There’s incredible opportunity here to create better patient outcomes when technology providers embrace the expertise and deep understanding of the patient voice from partners like CSRF.”