Participating in Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications project: “Survey Study for International Expansion of Endoscopes Utilizing High-definition Imaging Technology AI Diagnosis Support System in Thailand”
Olympus Corporation (Representative Executive Officer, President and CEO: Yasuo Takeuchi) took part in a ground-breaking project as a business promoter, in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan, entitled, “Survey Study for International Expansion of Endoscopes Utilizing High-definition Imaging Technology AI Diagnosis Support System in Thailand.” The project aims to develop advanced endoscopy diagnostics in Thailand, where there are relatively few endoscopists.
Last fiscal year, Olympus took part in a project with the MIC to investigate the effectiveness and potential dissemination of the AI diagnostic support system in India. Olympus conducted a demonstration survey on clinical applications in collaboration with a major Indian medical institution. Clinical use by Indian doctors and discussion with Japanese physicians showed the effectiveness and potential for future dissemination of the ultra-expanded endoscope Endocyto1 and the endoscope diagnostic imaging support software with AI EndoBRAIN2 and EndoBRAIN-EYE3.
For the project in Thailand, in collaboration with CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD., Olympus conduct a demonstration survey on the effectiveness and potential dissemination of the AI diagnostic support system in collaboration with Thai Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Association (TAGE). Specialist lecturers and physicians from Showa University Northern Yokohama Hospital and TAGE representatives from Siriraj Hospital, Rajavithi Hospital, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and Ramathibodi Hospital will provide expert guidance to doctors from major medical institutions in Thailand. In addition to training doctors in techniques for detecting diseases and differential diagnosis by colonoscope, they will also train the doctors on how to instruct the next generation of endoscopists between August 2021 and March 2022.
This project started on July 20. At the kick-off meeting, Satoshi Hemmi, Deputy Director General of the Information and Communications Bureau at MIC said, “We hope that the clinical advantage of the AI diagnostic support system will be evaluated by TAGE doctors. We also expect that the cooperative relationship between Thailand and Japan in the field of medical ICT will further develop.” Nonthalee Pausawasdi, President, Thai Association for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, also commented, “On behalf of TAGE, it is our great pleasure to collaborate with the MIC and Olympus for the opportunity. We are grateful to have an opportunity to enhance our experiences in AI in endoscopy. We are confident that our collaboration will allow our members and the next generation of endoscopists to gain new knowledge and skills in the latest AI technology for a diagnostic endoscopy.”
Background of Olympus’ Participation
In Thailand, the rate of cancer has been increasing in recent years due to the aging of society and the westernization of dietary habits associated with economic growth. In particular, colon cancer is becoming a social issue, with the fourth highest morbidity and third highest mortality among all cancer cases. While demand for endoscopy, which is essential for early detection and treatment of cancer, is expected to increase, there is a shortage of doctors with the high-level of knowledge and experience required for endoscopy. Olympus participated in this project to support trained specialists to train doctors in Thailand and neighboring countries and to contribute to the dissemination and development of endoscopic diagnostics using the latest AI technology.
1 An endoscope that enables observation at the cellular level in real time with up to 520 times optical magnification.
2 AI real-time in-vivo analysis of colon lesions taken with ultra-high magnifying endoscopes, numerically indicating the possibility of neoplastic and non-neoplastic polyps to assist physicians in the differentiation and detection of polyps through figures. (Manufactured by CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD.)
3 AI endoscopic diagnostic imaging support software that assists physicians in diagnosing lesions by alerting if a polyp or other lesion is detected using regular colonoscope images. (Manufactured by CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD.)
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Project
The MIC aims to realize the sustainable development goal and SDG pledges to ensure “no one will be left behind.” To this end, the MIC aims to realize a model that contributes to SDG through digitization and to disseminate and promote an SDG + ICT model domestically and overseas between both public and private sectors. This project aims to contribute to the introduction and dissemination of Japan’s endoscopic AI diagnostic support system to Thailand and neighboring countries in response to the social issue of increasing cancer prevalence in Thailand.
- Survey on the Current Status of Policies in the Medical, Health, and Health Sectors in Thailand, and Survey on the Current Status of Medical ICT Introduction in Thailand
We collect information from major medical institutions and external research institutions and investigate the state of dissemination of medical information systems, including endoscopy systems.
- Verification through proof-of-concept tests in Thailand
Physicians from the Showa University Northern Yokohama Hospital will train doctors at Siriraj Hospital and other medical institutions in Thailand, from the detection of disease utilizing a colonoscope with an AI diagnostic support system, to discriminatory diagnosis, and train them as lecturers to train instructors. Olympus provided equipment and training courses.
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