OU Health Gastroenterologists Using AI for Enhanced Colon Polyp Detection

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OU Health Gastroenterologists Using AI for Enhanced Colon Polyp Detection

OU Health patients receiving colonoscopies now have access to enhanced screening with the aid of a computer-assisted reading tool that uses artificial intelligence software to highlight suspicious areas with a visual marker in real-time, enhancing a physician’s ability to detect and prevent colorectal cancer and appropriately stage disease activity in patients with colitis.

OU Health is one of the first facilities in the state to offer the enhanced screening. Called the GI Genius™ module, it is the first and only computer-aided detection (CADe) system using AI to identify colorectal polyps. OU Health, in collaboration with Medtronic (Minneapolis, MN) and Iterative Health (Cambridge, MA) — two leading medical device and artificial intelligence (AI) companies — is using the technology to apply to the screening and surveillance colonoscopies for colorectal cancer and patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Colon polyps are small clumps of cells that form on the lining of the rectum or colon, which are mostly harmless, but some can develop into cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S., with almost 150,000 new cases every year. The CDC recommends patients aged 45 and over have a colonoscopy every 10 years, and more often if they have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Inflammatory bowel disease gastroenterologist George Salem, M.D., and his team started using the technology in March.

“At OU Health, we believe in the importance of adopting innovative practices to improve outcomes for our patients. This includes integrating the latest technologies when we discuss screening options for healthy individuals at risk of colorectal cancer,” said Salem. “We lead the state by combining world-class medical expertise, state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, as well as the latest research in the field.”

Over 19 million screening colonoscopies are performed across the country each year and they remain the most proven way to detect and prevent colorectal cancer deaths. The AI-assisted colonoscopy works with the gastroenterologist as a ‘second-observer’ with a sensitivity rate per lesion of 99.7%.

Using AI Technology during endoscopy has been shown to significantly enhance the ability to detect and subsequently remove precancerous polyps. Using this technology has been shown to significantly increase the ability to see this subset of polyps, and reduce the miss rate of colon polyps.

By instantly flagging potential abnormalities for assessment during colonoscopy, the GI GeniusTM intelligent endoscopy module can help the gastroenterologist detect precancerous polyps, providing a more thorough investigation. As with all cancerous or precancerous growths, it is best to find polyps at their earliest stages, to limit the need for more invasive intervention in the future.

“At OU Health, we are constantly driven by innovation and coordination between multiple subspecialists. Our ultimate goal is to provide our patients with the highest best quality of care with improved patient-focused outcomes” said Salem.

To book an appointment with OU Health’s gastroenterology team visit OU Health Digestive Health.