Confidence in AI for improving patient outcomes in endoscopy grows

Confidence in AI for improving patient outcomes in endoscopy grows
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A new survey has shown that gastroenterology clinicians strongly support AI in endoscopy to deliver improved outcomes for patients.

A survey of endoscopists, GI nurses, and GI surgeons working in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, has revealed that seven in 10 said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology will improve patient outcomes, with a similar number reporting it will increase the efficiency of their work.

Clinician choice over the tools at their disposal for procedures was highlighted as important by almost all respondents (94%), with 80% reporting they would be more likely to use a system with AI capabilities than without.

The survey was undertaken by the global clinical network, SERMO, on behalf of Fujifilm.

Rise in demand for endoscopy services

Demand for endoscopy services is growing, and responses to the survey reflect the ongoing challenges faced across Europe with patient waiting times, growing demand for procedures, and detection rate of difficult-to-discover lesions identified as the most significant.

Research has shown that each 1% increase in the adenoma detection rate could mean a 3% decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer, a disease which kills approximately 228,000 Europeans every year.

While respondents to the survey rated image and video quality as the most important features in an endoscopy system, clinicians demonstrated strong confidence in the ability of AI to reduce the number of missed lesions and increase diagnostic capability with over half saying it will increase confidence in clinical decision-making, as well as help to standardise the practice.

Clinicians also recognised the broader benefits of using AI in endoscopy in terms of potential efficiencies created; almost half agreed AI will improve cost savings by reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies and surgeries, and over a third said it will help to reduce waiting times for patients.

Mat Tallis, European Business Manager at Fujifilm EU, said: “The survey results illustrate a significant confidence from clinicians in AI to deliver better outcomes for their patients, at a time when healthcare systems around the world are under increased pressure. We know from our work with these frontline experts that there are a large number of factors which can negatively impact an endoscopy. That’s why at Fujifilm we constantly strive to develop innovations to optimise the practice and improve the ability of clinicians to detect lesions, even in more difficult areas of the colon.”

Innovating endoscopy

Fujifilm has been innovating endoscopy and has recently launched its Eluxeo Ultra family of technologies, a deep-learning AI technology.

Tallis said that the technology supports users of Fujifilm’s existing Eluxeo system: “The clinicians who have used our new CAD EYE technology say they value the real-time assistance it provides in identifying polyps that they otherwise would have missed, and the support it offers in characterising lesions to give their patients an accurate and efficient diagnosis. The Eluxeo Ultra platform will be continually updated to evolve with technology, so it remains our most future-ready choice.”

Professor Coron, a physician in Gastroenterology and Hepatology working at the Digestive Diseases Institute of Nantes, said: “For any gastroenterologist, the priority is doing all we can not to miss small lesions or overlook subtle changes in the mucosa. In practice, this means having the right tool for the situation with the best possible optical quality. This is clearly reflected in the survey responses of my peers across Europe.”

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