Description of GI Genius units. On Wednesday, Intermountain Healthcare announced the placement of these AI-powered devices at four of its Utah rural hospitals to help doctors identify colon cancer earlier. (Intermountain Healthcare)
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CEDAR CITY — Intermountain Healthcare will soon use artificial intelligence tools at four rural hospitals in Utah to enhance colonoscopy and better prevent colon cancer.
The cutting-edge technology, aptly named GI Genius, will help doctors improve colon polyp detection and remove precancerous colon polyps faster. Hospitals that will have the new technology include Intermountain Cedar City Hospital, Intermountain Fillmore Hospital, Intermountain Delta Community Hospital and Intermountain Heber Valley Hospital.
“We are very fortunate to be one of the first hospitals in Utah to have this advanced screening capability,” said Eric Packer, administrator of Intermountain Cedar City Hospital. “The best part is knowing that our patients will now benefit from this important advancement in cancer screening. This is another example of how we are working to serve our communities with the latest healthcare technology.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new unit was held at Cedar City Hospital on Wednesday and will be held at other hospitals in the coming weeks as doctors are being trained to use the device.
Medtronic, which distributes GI Genius, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Amazon Web Services are responsible for bringing the technology to rural Utah through Medtronic’s Health Equity Assistance program. Across the United States, the program provides 133 GI Genius units at 62 different medical facilities.
The use of artificial intelligence technology will not add additional costs to patients.
The AI of the GI Genius module was trained on more than 13 million polyp images. Using the tool in the trial, doctors were able to increase lesion detection rates by 46 percent, according to Medtronic.
Giovanni Di Napoli, president of Medtronic’s gastrointestinal business, said he is excited to see this technology combined with Intermountain Healthcare to improve polyp detection in four rural Utah communities.
“We are committed to helping reduce inequalities and ensuring access to life-changing therapies using artificial intelligence technology,” Naples said.
PhD. Nathan A. Merriman, medical director of gastroenterology and digestive health at Intermountain Healthcare, said he sees artificial intelligence as a potential aid for all Intermountain physicians performing colonoscopies.
“By making this cutting-edge high-definition technology available to our rural Utah communities, we have the potential to detect more colorectal polyps and potentially prevent cancer,” Merriman said.
It is recommended that people start screening for colon cancer at age 45. Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly cancer in both men and women, killing about 50,000 people in the United States each year, Intermountain said.
“We know that missing colorectal polyps may increase the risk of developing interphase colon cancer before the next routine checkup. … By improving our ability to see and remove more of these polyps, we have a better understanding of the larger colon Cancer prevention has a more positive impact on patients and their families,” Merriman said.