Colorectal cancer screening gets AI boost at Allina Health Buffalo Hospital

BUFFALO, Minn. (March 04, 2024) — Buffalo Hospital is the first location in the Allina Health system to use an artificial intelligence-based tool to screen for colorectal cancer. Called GI Genius, the endoscopy module is an artificial intelligence (AI), computer-aided device designed to aid in the detection of colorectal polyps, often the precursor to colorectal cancer. GI Genius essentially acts as an extra set of eyes for doctors during colonoscopies. 

AI may pick up polyps faster than a trained endoscopist, and it helps the provider detect flat polyps in hard-to-view areas. 

A colonoscopy with GI Genius begins like any other. The endoscopist uses a tube-like device to look inside the colon. Once the colonoscope reaches the end of the colon, the team engages GI Genius, which compares the images on the screen to an algorithm which has 13 million stored images of polyps. When the device comes across a potential polyp, it lights up the area on the screen with a green box.

The endoscopist then checks to see if the targeted image is truly a polyp. If it's not, the endoscopist keeps going. GI Genius helps make sure the endoscopist is removing as many potential pathologic polyps as possible. The Medtronic-produced technology does not collect data from patients.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Screening is essential for prevention and early detection. Colorectal cancer cases are on the rise among people under 50, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screenings for people 45 and up.


GI Genius 2

Photo provided by Medtronic

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