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Artificial Intelligence Assists in Evaluating Advanced Endoscopic Procedures

January 15, 2024

A team of leading-edge endoscopists at Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute Center for Advanced Endoscopy, Research and Education (CARE) are incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to address a range of complex conditions. Experienced in providing the most sophisticated treatments for digestive diseases, the specialists at CARE use AI in the endosonographic evaluation of pancreatic lesions as well as traditional screening colonoscopies.

Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD
Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD

The result is enhanced performance and improved patient outcomes at their high-volume Central Florida facility. “We have been utilizing AI for basic endoscopic procedures like colonoscopy to increase our adenoma detection rate,” says Dr. Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD, president of Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute. “Studies show the detection rate is much, much higher with AI, regardless of polyp size, shape or location. With AI, our performance is significantly better than the benchmarks recommended by Medicare and the societies.”  

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Building on AI’s success in digestive disease diagnosis, and in collaboration with academic centers globally, physicians at CARE are pioneering novel AI algorithms for endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to identify small cancers. The team also is developing software and collecting data to create a neural network for real-time diagnosis of high-risk conditions such as pancreatic cysts and solid neoplasms.

“We are collaborating with Dr. Adrian Saftiou and his team in Romania to integrate AI within the EUS technology to highlight points of abnormality in the pancreas before any other symptoms may be present,” says Dr. Varadarajulu. “This will allow for better diagnosis of early-stage pancreatic cancer.” He expects this novel approach to be “ready and routinely integrated into clinical practice within a year.”

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Well-published with close to 600 original research papers, CARE physicians author the world’s leading textbook on endoscopic ultrasound. Team members also are working on randomized trials in pancreatic necrosis, pancreatic cancer and several other interventions to improve patient care.

Physicians with Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute CARE serve on the editorial boards of several medical journals and lead clinical studies testing innovative medical and endoscopic interventions for complex digestive diseases. Their combined research work has been the subject of nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed manuscripts published in high-impact journals.

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