How AI Improves Bowel Cancer Diagnosis At Chermside Day Hospital

Gastroenterologists at Chermside Day Hospital have started a trial of the latest endoscopy equipment utilising artificial intelligence, designed to detect early signs of bowel cancer.

The doctors used ENDO-AID CADe, a computer-assisted imaging system made by renowned Japanese technology brand Olympus. By deploying the said technology, Chermside Day Hospital aims to improve clinical outcome and key colonoscopy quality indicators such as polyp and adenoma detection rate of bowel cancer.

This new technology works like the facial recognition feature commonly found in cameras or smartphones. It flashes and informs the doctor when there’s a lesion on the screen. 

Chermside Day Hospital, part of the Cura Day Hospitals Group, helped in the trial by contributing videos to Olympus which will be used to develop an algorithm in detecting polyps. It was led by gastroenterologist and therapeutic colonoscopist Dr David Hewett, who is also an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine.

This new AI platform enables real-time display of automatically detected suspicious lesions and works in combination with the recently introduced EVIS X1, Olympus’ most advanced endoscopy system to date, says Olympus in its website.

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In Australia, there were around 15,494 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in 2020, based on a report by Cancer Australia. Around 8,340 of these cases were men whilst 7,154 were women.

According to Cancer Australia, colorectal cancer was the second most common cause of cancer death in Australia and it is estimated that it will remain the second most common cause of death from cancer in 2020. 

Through AI technology, the chances of missing anything during a medical procedure is reduced, because it promises a 10 percent increase in the detection rate. 

Andrew Currie, CEO of Cura Day Hospitals Group, said patients do not only have a great procedural specialist, but an additional technology in place that allows the doctor to identify smaller and earlier potential issues with polyps and cancers.

Mr Curried added that the technology may also give the specialist confidence that they can lengthen the time between colonoscopies for those patients requiring frequent monitoring procedures.

“In the future, AI looks like it is going to support doctors in a whole range of healthcare procedures, such as generation of reports and measuring the quality of procedures,” Mr Currie said.