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在线翻译:
szdaily -> News -> 
Tech giants tap into AI health-care market
    2018-06-21  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

BEFORE 2017, gastroenterologist Cheng Chunsheng had to inspect over 1,000 gastroscopy pictures to search for possible symptoms of esophageal cancer, which develops in the food pipe.


This painstaking process is no longer needed since the Nanshan District People’s Hospital, where Cheng works, introduced an AI (artificial intelligence) medical imaging software called “Tencent AIMIS” in August.


“The AI system screens each report and notifies the doctor if further inspection is needed,” said Cheng. The system has significantly boosted his efficiency.


A doctor’s experience is the most important tool when diagnosing esophageal cancer at an early stage. Cheng said the system, developed by Shenzhen Internet giant Tencent, will assist younger doctors in making more precise diagnoses.


“It is often difficult for young doctors to judge whether an erosion or an ulcer is related to cancer. The application of AI would advise young doctors to discuss the case with an expert,” he added.


Chen Guangyu, Tencent’s vice president, said the program has scanned hundreds of thousands of gastroscopy images and is over 90 percent accurate in diagnosing preliminary esophageal cancer. “As it accumulates more data, the analysis is expected to become even more reliable,” Chen added.


Tencent AIMIS is now used in more than 100 hospitals across China. The company has also partnered with over 10 hospitals to build AI medical laboratories.


Chen said that through the AI laboratories, Tencent AIMIS can be used to screen for more diseases such as lung nodules, diabetic retinopathy, cervical cancer and breast cancer.


Besides Tencent, other Internet corporations are also exploring the AI health-care market.


In 2016, Internet search giant Baidu launched Melody the Medical Assistant, an AI-powered chatbot designed to converse with patients and collect data on their conditions to save physicians time.


ET medical brain, an AI health-care system produced by Alibaba, can aid doctors in medical imaging, drug development and health management.


The State Council issued a guideline in April to promote health services that use Internet technologies. The guidelines on “Internet Plus Health Care” say Internet technologies should be used to offer medical and public health services, promote family doctor practices, improve drug supply and medical bill payments, and provide medical education.


According to a 2017 industry report released by VCBeat Research, more than 80 companies are working on AI for the Chinese health market by developing products such as medical imaging devices, AI that analyzes patient clinical histories and chatbots.


Luo Xudong, head of Nanshan District People’s Hospital, said the advancement of AI-assisted health care could help alleviate the problem of inadequate and imbalanced medical resource allocation in China.


According to China Statistical Yearbook, every 1,000 Chinese urban residents had access to 3.92 physicians in 2016, while every 1,000 rural residents had access to only 1.59.


“AI-powered medical products support remote medical consultation and training. Through their application, villagers in remote areas can enjoy services of a similar quality as those available to urban residents,” Luo said.


Chang Jia, who manages Tencent’s “Internet plus” health-care center, said that a small error in the medical field could be a matter of life and death.


“The industry still positions AI as an assistant to the doctors. On one hand, medicine is a mix of humanity, ethics and science, and there are no easy answers; on the other hand, AI-based medical technologies remain in a fledging state and still need time to learn before they mature,” Chang said. (Xinhua)

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