AI Medical Service, a Tokyo-based company developing AI-based software to help detect gastric cancer, announced today that it has raised a $42.9 million Series B. Investors include Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. The funding will be used for clinical trials of its software, which looks for signs of cancer in real-time during endoscopies, product development and overseas expansion. This brings AI Medical Service's total funding so far to $57 million, including a previous round of $9 million from the Incubate Fund in August 2018. Founded in 2017, the company's software focuses on signs of cancer in gastrointestinal organs, including the esophagus, stomach and intestines, with the goal of reducing the amount of hours doctors and other health professionals need to spend going over scans. AI Medical Service is currently collaborating with 80 medical institutions on joint research for regulatory approval of its products.
Scientists at Okayama University in Japan have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based endoscopic diagnosis system for the early identification of gastric cancer. Early-stage gastric cancer can be treated using surgical gastrectomy procedures and endoscopic surgery (ESD), which can save the stomach. The use of endoscopy treatment or surgery is decided based the depth of cancer within the stomach wall. The treatment plan is decided after analysis of endoscopic images, said the researchers. To help in early detection of the cancer, the team developed a prototype of the AI endoscope using GoogLeNet to match purpose via the image identification capability of Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) published by Google on the MATLAB numerical analysis software.
Even the most experienced doctors can't catch every tiny polyp during an endoscopy, a screening of the digestive system. But even in routine exams, the stakes are high -- missing an early warning sign of cancer can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment, lowering a patient's chances for recovery. To cut down on the rate of missed precancerous lesions, one Japanese endoscopist is turning to AI. His startup, AIM (short for AI Medical Service), is building a GPU-powered AI system that will analyze endoscopy video feeds in real time, spotting lesions and helping doctors identify which are cancerous or at risk of becoming so. AI screening could also help clinicians manage a demanding workload: Japanese endoscopists must check more than 3,000 medical images a day, on average.
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is the pivotal procedure in the diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal lesions.1 High-quality endoscopy delivers better health outcomes.2 However, there are significant variations in EGD performance among endoscopists, impairing the discovery rate of gastric cancers (GC) and precursor lesions.3 The diagnosis rate of early GC in China is still under 20% and similar results are seen in most part of the world.4 5 While further expanding endoscopic technology, it is vital to raise the quality of everyday endoscopy. Ensuring competence is a seminal prerequisite for discovering lesions in EGD.6 Plenty of guidelines or expert consensus have been reached to optimise EGD examination.7 The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) developed safety and quality indicators for EGD.8–10
Two Japanese national research institutes have succeeded in using artificial intelligence to identify early stage stomach cancer with a high accuracy rate. The breakthrough may help extend the lives of patients in Japan, where stomach cancer is one of the leading causes of death. According to the National Cancer Center, 45,531 people died of stomach cancer in 2016. According to Riken and the National Cancer Center, it took AI only 0.004 seconds to judge whether an endoscopic image showed early stage cancer or normal stomach tissue. AI correctly detected cancer in 80 percent of cancer images, while the accuracy rate was 95 percent for normal tissue.