Antwerp hospitals use artificial intelligence in cancer diagnoses
The Hospital Network Antwerp (ZNA) and GZA Hospitals in Antwerp are now using artificial intelligence (AI) in cancer diagnoses. "The use of this smart software is a first in the Benelux region," they say.
By deploying artificial intelligence for tissue examination, doctors can more quickly and accurately assess millions of tumour cells. The software helps search for the type of tumour and can indicate whether the tumour is sensitive to specific therapies, such as immunotherapy.
"The software analyses a tissue sample and then guides us to parts that may require additional examination," explains pathologist Frederik Deman. "The computer helps us determine growth patterns or count cancer cells. This way, we no longer have to make estimates."
The technology - originating in Israel - allows a patient's treatment to start sooner. For now, though, the software is limited to analysing common breast, lung and prostate tumours. In the stomach, the AI can also uncover tumours and other diseases.
"In the start-up phase, in the anatomopathology lab at ZNA and GZA Hospitals, we are aiming for about 1,000 samples a year," Deman says. "By 2024, we want to increase that to 15,000 samples yearly. Of course, the pathologist himself will remain at the wheel of each diagnosis."
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