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Artificial intelligence to be used in diagnosis of lung disease

Nov 13. 2019
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By THE NATION

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Siriraj Hospital yesterday (November 12) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Perceptra, an artificial intelligence (AI) company, for joint research into and development of medical AI which can help doctors read chest x-rays, Prof Dr. Prasit Watanapa, the dean of faculty of medicine Siriraj Hospital, said.

“Lung cancer, tuberculosis, and pneumonia cause a high number of deaths every year and chest x-rays offer the most convenient and safest method of screening,” he said,

“However, diagnosis of lung diseases from x-ray s requires experts and we are in short supply of these doctors. Application of AI can therefore play an important role in countering this shortfall.” 

Perceptra’s executive chairman, Supitchaya Phupisit explained that the company has developed medical AI called Inspectra, which consists of numerous AI systems working together, namely, defective image screening, medical report analysis, pre-processing image, and diagnosis.

The AI can screen for 14 symptoms of diseases from chest x-rays and doctors can access this AI service through a website application with three levels of security built in.

“Perceptra expects that the application will be launched at the beginning of January 2020 for use in provincial hospitals, community hospitals, and mobile medical examination labs,” she said.

The company aims to expand the AI collaboration to other kind of medical treatments in order to improve public health services and push the country closer to becoming a medical hub.

The benefits of using AI to support doctors in this case are rapidity and precision of diagnosis. “Patients will acknowledge their illness faster, while diagnostic mistakes will be decreased,” Assoc Prof Dr Pipat Chiewvit, head of radiology department at Siriraj Hospital, added.

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