Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider and Apollo Hospitals, Asia’s foremost trusted integrated healthcare group have carried out India’s first 5G driven, Artificial Intelligence (AI) guided Colonoscopy trial.
The trial was conducted using AI on Airtel’s 5G technology with ultra-low latency and high processing capabilities as a result of which the colon cancer got detected much faster and with greater accuracy. HealthNet Global, AWS and Avesha are the other three companies that collaborated in this trial.
As a result of AI guided colonoscopy procedure, the image processing happened in real time without any lag even when the physician moved the scope through the colon for it to be overlaid on top of the right element of the colon. The advent of this technology enables an “extra pair of eyes” for physicians and improves the detection rate of polyps, thus saving lives and vastly improving patient care. The data was processed by Avesha edge inferencing applications on AWS platforms on a real time resulting in much faster analysis. AI assisted Colonoscopy Polyp Detection trial will help doctors to improve quality of patient care, improve accuracy of detection rates by capturing information correctly and reducing errors. 5G, Edge computing and Artificial Intelligence can significantly improve patient outcomes by assisting in proper and timely diagnoses.
As per current protocol, colon cancer is detected through colonoscopy procedure which is manual and requires great attention and time from medical practitioners for accurate detection. Currently, the procedure is performed using a device comprising of flexible tube with light, camera and tools at one end, which are used to extract samples to identify an infected polyp. Not only is the procedure long, its discomforting for patients and for the doctors and nurses who perform the procedure which takes around 30 to 40 minutes.
Speaking about the trial, Ajay Chitkara, CEO and Director, Airtel Business said “Ultra-fast, low latency 5G networks will transform the Healthcare sector in the country. At Airtel, we are geared up to lead this transformation and have demonstrated this by conducting India’s first colonoscopy trials. Healthcare is one of the most promising use cases for 5G, and we are delighted to collaborate Apollo Hospitals, AWS, HealthNet Global and Avesha. This is just the beginning, and I am certain we will bring many more innovative use cases that will help redefine healthcare in the country.”
“By augmenting doctor’s ability to detect, AI has been proved to improve physician’s accuracy. Early detection and removal of polyps can easily avoid them becoming cancerous. Apollo has always been a fore runner in adoption of technology. Our patient centric approach keeps us on an outlook for technologies which can make outcomes better.” said Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group.
Vaishali Kasture, Head – Enterprise, Mid-Market & Global Businesses, India & South Asia – AWS India (Amazon Web Services India P Ltd) said “5G and edge technologies offer high speed and real-time data analysis that can help transform the delivery of healthcare. AI inference provides better insight and information to healthcare professionals to predict, diagnose, and treat patients more effectively. We are delighted to collaborate with Airtel and Apollo hospitals to bring AI-powered solutions with an aim to improve patient experience and healthcare service quality.”
Colonoscopy procedures for early detection and prevention of cancers is being advised for all men and women above 45 years of age. In India, where the target population is large in terms of numbers, solutions built on 5G and AI are key to assist doctors to bring quality care to the maximum population.