Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are largely influencing quality of life with almost 3 million new GI cancers per year. The mortality is about 65%, but it is heavily influenced by early detection of neoplasia, where a 1% increase in detection can decrease the risk of cancer with 3%. For example, colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer mortality, and it is a condition where early detection is important for survival, i.e., going from a low 10-30% 5-year survival probability if detected in later stages (III-IV) to a high 90% survival probability in early stages (I-II). Screening on a regular basis is therefore recommended, and the Norwegian Government has therefore decided to implement a national bowel screening program for 55 year old citizens starting from 2019 and providing full coverage by 2024. Colonoscopy will be a cornerstone in this program. This is a very important goal, but hard to reach with the current personnel and equipment. Some parts of the GI system is hard to reach with traditional endoscopy examinations like the small intestine, existing procedures does not properly scale to the recommended screening program, gastro- and colonoscopy examinations introduce discomfort for patients and the cost per examination is high. In this respect, several manufacturers now provide video capsules (pills) where the medical experts analyse the video of (parts of) the GI tract offline. This analysis, however, takes long time and going fast forward increase the probability to overlook important anomalies. Therefore, automatic analysis and anomaly detection in VCE videos will be crucial for success. The goal of this project is to develop such a system, combining latest video technologies with different types of artificial intelligence, able to detect multiple diseases with a high accuracy enabling a more efficient public health care system in order to reach the required scale and cost efficiency.
Project leader: Pål Halvorsen
Institution: FORZASYS AS