NCH uses GI Genius for ‘expert AI’ second opinion in detecting polyps during colonoscopies

Published: January 24, 2022 7:09 PM EST
Updated: January 24, 2022 7:18 PM EST

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure many of us dread, but a new device is giving doctors with NCH another set of eyes to help them find precancerous lesions.

Artificial intelligence called GI Genius is helping doctors make smarter decisions. This ‘brain in a box’ is a new technology that may actually save lives.

Dr. Mazen Albeldawi is a gastroenterologist with NCH. He says, “The GI Genius is like having a second expert in the room during a colonoscopy.

A computer program analyzes video in real-time as the scope travels through the colon, comparing images to a database of millions of pictures of polyps and pointing out lesions that might be missed by the human eye.

“Paying attention to very small lesions in the colonic mucosa that may have been missed in the past by identifying them and placing a little green square around them. So bringing the attention of the gastroenterologist to further examine that area more carefully,” Albeldawi explained.

While most polyps, which may be precursors to cancer, are easy to spot. The program’s algorithm offers a real benefit.

“It’s in identifying the flat polyps in the right side of the colon that are pretty dangerous. We know from many, many studies now that these are the polyps or lesions, that can be missed,” he added.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force now recommends screening starting at age 45, every 10 years for colonoscopy. This makes it potentially life-saving to find and remove the smallest lesion, so it won’t grow unnoticed for a decade.

Dr. Albeldawi said, “It’s kind of having like the perfect blend of where artificial intelligence and doctors can work together to improve patient care and outcomes.

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And lives.

The FDA gave the GI genius the green light last spring.
 NCH is the only location currently using it in Southwest Florida, and they put it to use during each colonoscopy.