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Digital & Innovation

Australia assigns first AI solution for breast cancer screening

Health Industry Hub | November 21, 2022 |

Digital & Innovation: Mammograms acquired through population-based breast cancer screening programs produce a significant workload for radiologists. AI has been proposed as an automated second reader for mammograms that could help reduce this workload and improve accuracy of results as the technology has shown encouraging results for cancer detection.

South Korean medical AI company Lunit has become the preferred machine reading solution for BreastScreen NSW’s early breast cancer detection programme. This marks the first case globally in which an AI-based solution is being deployed by a national cancer screening organisation.

In 2021, the Cancer Institute NSW sought proposals and test results from potential suppliers for the supply, fulfilment, and/or delivery of a world-leading BreastScreen Machine Reading Solution built on the latest generation of deep machine learning AI technology for detecting cancers in screening mammograms. 

Lunit’s INSIGHT MMG AI-based technology is able to analyse mammograms with 96% accuracy.

Before deploying the solution, Cancer Institute NSW will first validate the Lunit INSIGHT MMG to confirm its potential clinical benefits. About 650,000 mammograms will be used to test and compare the readings from the AI ​​solution to historical reports delivered by BSNSW radiologists.

Later, prospective validation of the technology will be conducted by assessing approximately 240,000 exams over an eight-month period. After this, the mammography solution will be rolled out and integrated into the BSNSW PACS environment to assist radiologists with screening exams for approximately 350,000 women per year. In this final phase, additional evaluations will be conducted to validate Lunit INSIGHT DBT—an AI solution for digital breast tomosynthesis—for clinical use.

Upon successful completion of all three phases, Lunit will secure a 5-year operational contract with BSNSW, which is expected to lead to further secure supply and operation throughout Australia.

“This is the first time Lunit has been awarded the opportunity to provide our AI solution for a national breast screen program,” said Lunit CEO Brandon Suh.

“We plan to proactively prepare for the rapidly increasing demand in national screening programs around the world, in addition to actively seeking new business opportunities.”

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