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‘GI Genius’ added to Fraser Health’s colon-screening arsenal

Peace Arch, Surrey Memorial among 12 sites to gain AI-embedded technology

Patients referred for colon-cancer screening in Fraser Health now have an extra set of “eyes” looking out for abnormalities during the procedure.

Health authority officials confirmed Tuesday (Dec. 19) that a ‘GI Genius’ has been installed in 12 of the region’s hospitals, including Peace Arch and Surrey Memorial.

Embedded with artificial intelligence, the GI Genius is a computer-aided system that works alongside medical teams to improve the accuracy of colonoscopies and increase the likelihood of detecting and removing precancerous lesions at an early stage.

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Resembling a black box, and able to “see” polyps or lesions that the human eye might miss, the equipment “gives us a second set of eyes in the room, with a computer system looking at digital images in real time and drawing the endoscopy team’s attention to something that may be abnormal,” Dr. Scott Cowie, a surgeon at Langley Memorial Hospital, said in a news release.

“You have an objective observer on your shoulder all the time, not tired, pointing out something that may be of concern.”

Detecting and treating polyps early, said Cowie, is key to reducing the risk of missed findings and improving patients’ quality of life.

If detected at its earliest stage, the chance of surviving colon cancer is greater than 90 per cent, the release notes.

The Fraser Health Colon Cancer Screening Program received more than 13,000 referrals last year.

Addition of the GI Genius technology represents a $1.2 million investment.

Other sites to receive the equipment were Abbotsford Regional Hospital, Burnaby Hospital, Chilliwack General, Delta Hospital, Eagle Ridge Hospital, Langley Memorial, Royal Columbian, Ridge Meadows, Mission Memorial and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgical Centre.

Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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