Technology at the service of health

Incorporating Artificial Intelligence can streamline medical examination analysis and make hospitals more effective.

 By Sérgio Siscaro

Fast diagnosis of diseases is an essential condition for effective treatment. In Brazil, however, test analysis often takes time, delaying the process and impairing the patient’s chances of recovery. A technology solution to this problem was presented in September during the event New technologies and design projects to optimize hospital activities, sponsored by the Health Innovation Committee of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC). It refers to the analysis of x-rays through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), developed by the company Data Life, Data H health division, and which is established in both Brazil and Canada.

“Currently, the focus of our work is to improve diagnostic imaging. The idea is not to replace doctors, but to make their work more efficient,” said Data H CTO, Celso Azevedo. He recounted the company’s experience in 2017, when it placed third in a study sponsored by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), whose goal was to accurately determine the bone age of children based on X-ray analysis at the Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. In the following year, the algorithm developed by Datalife achieved a 91% rate of detection of pneumonia signals in a universe of 864 images provided by Fleury Group.

According to Azevedo, the company is now developing methods for detecting tuberculosis cases (based on images provided by Shenzhen Hospital and Montgomery County) and endometriosis (based on material from Hospital Beneficência Portuguesa). He says that solutions are at all times developed in association with the healthcare institutions providing the images, as well as their medical staff, and the intellectual property of the solution is shared. Another project involves the analysis of breast cancer cases, in association with Hospital do Amor de Barretos. “In this case, the focus is on assisting the screening of images in order to refer cases as soon as possible for treatment,” he says.

Also attending the event was IBI Group CEO, Scott Stewart. He addressed the development of smarter healthcare facilities (aligned with the smart cities concept), with intensive use of technology solutions that make hospitals more integrated and decentralized. According to him, this model not only allows to improve the effectiveness of health facilities – optimizing the use of energy and their equipment, for example – but also enables patients to act more actively in managing their own health.