Bayer announced today that it acquired AI imaging provider Blackford Analysis as it looks to drive innovation in radiology.
The company said in a news release that its strategy includes developing and adopting AI within the clinical workflow. It aims to improve patient care and advance its position in digital medical imaging.
Blackford has a presence in both the U.S. and United Kingdom. It develops a clinical application ecosystem focused on imaging and analytics.
“Adding Blackford and its AI technology to our radiology portfolio secures Bayer an excellent position in the fastest growing segment within the overall global radiology industry,” said Stefan Oelrich, member of the board of management, Bayer AG and President of Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Division. “This acquisition complements our comprehensive radiology portfolio and nourishes our engagement to drive innovation in digital health. We are pleased to join forces with Blackford and their exceptional team to optimally utilize our combined expertise in healthcare technology with the aim to deliver true value to radiologists and their teams for the benefit of their patients.”
How Bayer and Blackford plan to move forward
The two companies previously entered into a development and license agreement in 2020. That laid a foundation for Bayer’s recently launched medical imaging platform, Calantic digital solutions. Calantic builds on Blackford’s technology and adds additional workflow and analytics components.
Blackford will continue to operate as an independent organization on an “arm’s length basis,” Bayer said. This helps to preserve its entrepreneurial culture, the company added.
It remains accountable to advance its own technology, channel partnerships and portfolio while benefitting from Bayer’s experience, infrastructure and reach. The companies expect the acquisition to close later this year.
Blackford investigated a number of ways to scale its business, CEO Ben Panter said. It landed on Bayer because of its “well-established” arm’s length model, he noted.
“Blackford exists to improve the lives of patients and populations by unlocking the adoption and benefits of medical imaging AI,” said Panter. “Combining our knowledge and experience as one of the leading platform providers in the industry with Bayer’s advanced radiology portfolio will enable us to provide solutions to deliver ongoing clinical value to radiologists and their teams.”