Thanks to ongoing developments in the AI related field, the technology has steadily found its way to healthcare industry in recent years. Over the years, AI has been used to spot potential health issues before they happen or become too serious for possible treatments.
For instance, we have seen great results of AI based technologies to detect breast cancer as well as lung cancer in past. And now, Microsoft and SRL Diagnostics have collaborated to create an AI tool that is capable of detecting cervical cancer at a much faster rate.
Talking about the tool, Dr. Arnab Roy, Technical Lead – New Initiatives & Knowledge Management, SRL Diagnostics, said, “The proportion of cytopathologists in India is very low with respect to the number of patients. At SRL Diagnostics, we receive more than 100,000 Pap smear samples every year and there are only a few trained cytopathologists who are supposed to examine such slides. What’s more, nearly 98% of these samples are normal and it’s only the remaining 2% that requires further intervention. We were looking for ways to ensure our cytopathologists were able to find those 2% abnormal samples faster.”
In addition to using the AI to detect the disease, Microsoft has suggested that the tool can be used in countries where detecting patients using traditional methods might be extremely time consuming due to the number of patients.
In an official blog post, Microsoft said, “The AI model can now differentiate between normal and abnormal smear slides with accuracy and is currently under validation in labs. It can also classify smear slides based on the seven-subtypes of cervical cytopathological scale. The classification includes interpretations ranging between normal and the pre-cancerous to cancerous stages.”
As mentioned earlier, the tool can be extremely useful for doctors to serve patients as Microsoft pointed out that about 67,000 women die each year from cervical cancer.