The images provided by magnetic resonance imaging have helped revolutionize modern medicine. But because it applies a magnetic field to the body, MRI gathers data at the molecular level, providing more information about the body than is evident from the resulting image. Confirma Inc. mines the molecular information gathered during MRI by applying computational algorithms to the images to determine differences between healthy and diseased tissues that can be used to search the body for disease sites, such as metastases in cancer.

According to President and CEO Mark Lostrom, the magnetic field causes molecules in the body to become excited, and as they return to their equilibrium state, they give off signals that the MR machine picks up and translates into data. These data are gathered in slices across individual planes through the body. "Each sequence," Lostrom said, "is an individual data set from the same body."