Advanced AI to power Fujifilm’s medical solutions
Fujifilm plans to use advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its in-house medical equipment and software among its priorities, a senior company executive said.
The move was a part of the company's strategic plan to increase its presence in the Southeast Asian healthcare industry, including Thailand, Masataka Akiyama, director, corporate vice president and general manager, medical systems business division, said.
Speaking to a few members of the media at the Asia Pacific Digestive Week 2023 (APDW 2023) in Bangkok, Akiyama said that Fujifilm, as one of the leading providers of total healthcare solutions, has intensified its efforts to provide the healthcare sector with a comprehensive range of AI-powered medical solutions.
With AI empowerment, medical professionals' efficiency can be elevated globally, allowing patients to receive accurate diagnoses and early disease detection.
As a result, it improves the patients' chances of healing and recovering.
He said the market would see more AI-enabled medical products from Fujifilm in the next 3-5 years.
By leveraging Fujifilm's proprietary image processing technologies, AI technologies, and other expertise, the company's medical systems business provides a wide range of medical devices and services, including X-ray diagnostic systems, endoscopy, diagnostic ultrasound systems, in-vitro diagnostics, and healthcare IT solutions.
He referred to Fujifilm's advanced AI solution for endoscopy, known as "Cad Eye”, as one example of the company's display of cutting-edge medical products at the APDW.
"This cutting-edge technology has the potential to revolutionise medical diagnostics, particularly in the field of gastrointestinal cancer," he said.
The solution is an empowering tool that uses AI technology to assist gastroenterologists in the early detection and characterisation of abnormal gastrointestinal lesions, he added.
Akiyama believes that the introduction of "Cad Eye" would meet the rising demand for early detection of gastrointestinal cancer in the region and Thailand.
According to Globocan 2018, cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract account for more than a quarter (26%) of global cancer incidence and more than one-third (35%) of all cancer-related deaths.
A joint study conducted by Chula Engineering and Chula Medicine found that 15 million Thais aged 50 and up will be at increased risk of colorectal cancer in 2021. These troubling statistics highlight the importance of improving diagnostic accuracy and ensuring timely treatment for gastrointestinal diseases.
Tatsuhiko Saeki, general manager of endoscopy, Fujifilm Corporation, said that Cad Eye is its second chapter of its AI diagnostic technology for assisting detection and characterisation of lesion in colon.
He explained that this endoscopic diagnosis support software detects areas suspected of having gastric neoplastic lesions and oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma in real time.
When this software detects an area suspected of being a lesion, it displays a frame (detection box) around the target area and emits a notification sound to aid doctors in detection, he added.
The technology also tackles lesion oversight and blind spots, supporting a thorough examination. The Landmark Photo Checker aids practitioners in efficiently navigating stomach landmarks.
"With Cad Eye, we envision a comprehensive solution for gastrointestinal endoscopy, contributing to early detection, especially in the Asian Pacific region where gastrointestinal cancer is prevalent," he said.
He also noted that the Cad Eye's user-friendliness, high image processing technology, AI employment, and exclusive design that meets medical requirements set it apart from others on the market.
Akiyama added that the company's wide range of medical tools, such as ultrasound, X-ray, medical IT, and MRI CT Scan, help distinguish Fujifilm from competitors.
He said that healthcare has become Fujifilm Corporation's largest sector, with the medical systems business division serving as its core.
In 2024, Fujifilm plans to launch the new product "Cad Eye Upper GI", a new version of Cad Eye for upper GI, in Thailand, demonstrating that the country remains a significant market for the company.
This new version, he explained, is tailored for diagnosing issues in the stomach and oesophagus and aims to aid in endoscopic diagnosis in the upper gastrointestinal tract, further expanding Fujifilm's endoscopy portfolio.
In terms of the overall outlook, he expected the company to grow by double digits in the Asia-Pacific region next year.