Jan 3, 2023
Dr. Shrujal Baxi is a medical oncologist and the Chief Medical Officer at Iterative Health pioneer in precision medicine technologies for gastroenterology. The Iterative SKOUT polyp detection tool provides algorithmic assistance to physicians during a colonoscopy to improve the ability to detect and remove polyps. With colon cancer getting diagnosed at a younger age, it is increasingly important to detect polyps as early as possible.
Shrujal explains, "I think there's a lot of science in the space for detection of precancerous tumors throughout the body. In colon cancer currently, it's still very anatomic, which is we look for polyps, we look for abnormalities, dysplasia, we look for things that we can see on the end of the camera that's a colonoscopy. We flag them, and we try to remove them. Now, many of those lesions may never have gone on to become cancer. Part of this is our learning, over time, that there are certain polyps or certain lesions that are more likely to become cancerous, and can we target our interventions and only resect those."
"What we found is that in studies, and these are out there, when physicians do colonoscopies in the morning versus when they're done in the afternoon, there's more polyp detection in the morning than in the afternoon. And we can postulate why that might be, but it suggests that pattern recognition requires a level of sort concentration that is still a human-dependent process."
"By having AI in the background running alongside the physician's interpretation, if the physician found every one of those polyps on their own, that's great. If the physician happens to have tired eyes by the end of the day, the polyp detection tool is there to make sure that doesn't get missed. It's not meant to replace the physician. It's meant to be there to sort of be an extra set of flags, so to speak."
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