Brisbane hospital uses AI in Asia-Pacific first

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In what has been described as a first for the Asia-Pacific region, Chermside Day Hospital in Brisbane has launched the latest endoscopy equipment that utilises Artificial Intelligence for diagnosis.

Chermside Day Hospital is part of the Cura Day Hospitals Group.

Cura Day Hospitals Group is a leading provider of private hospital facilities specialising in day procedures. It has 25 hospitals across Australia and became a majority-owned subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care Australia in 2020.

CEO Andrew Currie said the hospital is deploying the AI technology ENDO-AID CADe. It is a computer-assisted imaging system designed to detect early signs of bowel cancer.

Mr Currie says the AI was launched in Europe in mid-October 2020 and implemented at Chermside Day Hospital in mid-November in a bid to improve clinical outcome and key colonoscopy quality indicators such as polyp and adenoma detection rate.

“It’s been a great privilege for the team at the Chermside Day Hospital to be the first in the APAC region to trial this technology,” said Mr Currie.

“Cura Day Hospitals Group is constantly exploring new avenues to provide the best care and outcome for patients, and the implementation of this new technology is a great example of this in action.

“Chermside Day Hospital aims to provide state-of-the-art technology and access to best-in-class services to the local Brisbane North community."

Gastroenterologist and therapeutic colonoscopist Dr David Hewett contributed videos to Olympus to develop an algorithm to detect polyps in what he describes as a ‘start in the explosion’ of new technology in the field.

“The technology is similar to facial recognition with an iPhone or camera, so it flashes and tells you whether there’s a lesion on the screen,” he said.

“You can complement a Doctor doing a procedure with technology to basically reduce the chances of missing something.

“It’s going to have a transformative effect on clinical practice with an increase of detection rate of 10 per cent, reducing the failure rate of colonoscopy to find polyps and improving the cancer survival rate.”

Gastroenterologist and Gastroenterology Society of Australia vice-president Dr Benedict Devereaux described the new technology as ‘very straightforward’.

“The number one most important aspect of colonoscopy is your technique so there’s no competition from the technology in that regard. But it does certainly allow you to pick up small polyps that might otherwise go undetected,” he said.

“Cura as a group nationally undertakes a significant number of colonoscopies so any intervention that can improve outcomes is a benefit and the patient experience is no different.”