Charleston doctors utilize AI to detect precancerous polyps
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System recently performed its first colonoscopy using artificial intelligence to help detect precancerous polyps.
They are the only VA in the southeast to use this technology and officials say according to recent studies it’s 50% more likely to detect multiple polyps.
Dr. Richard Schatz, with the Ralph H Johnson VA, says colon cancer is one of the most common cancers people face, and data suggest it’s showing up earlier than what doctors initially had thought.
It’s recommended that if you’re 45 years of age or older you get screened for colon cancer, but if you have a family history of the disease you should get screened more often and at an earlier age.
Schatz says colonoscopy is the best study doctors have in terms of screening and preventing cancer from forming by removing precancerous polyps.
The GI Genius Module is smart technology or artificial intelligence that doctors at the VA are using. Schatz says the computerized model is like a second set of good eyes to help detect subtle irregularities or smaller polyps that would otherwise go undetected.
“Being able to adopt something so new and such a newly available and positive technology certainly will help not only patient care but also assuage the fears that something could be missed,” Schatz says.
The VA has begun training gastrointestinal fellows who will use the technology in the future and Schatz says he’s excited to have a tool to get better and have better patient outcomes.
Doctors at the VA tell me they are going into their second week using this technology and want patients to know it’s just helping, they are still doing the procedures.
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