Flemish hospitals using AI to improve cancer diagnoses

Flemish hospitals using AI to improve cancer diagnoses
Credit: Eric Lalmand/Belga.

The ZNA and GHA hospitals have announced that they will now use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve cancer diagnoses, making them the first to use such software in the Benelux.

AI will be used by both Antwerp hospitals' tissue examination laboratories to help doctors make faster and more accurate assessments of millions of tumour cells.

The pathologist Frederik Demain explains that the software, developed in Israel, will search for a tumour type by "analysing a guide sample," and then indicate "which parts require additional examination." As a result, doctors will "no longer have to make estimates” regarding these cells.

The software should also allow for patients' treatment to start earlier by revealing whether the tumour is sensitive to certain therapies, such as immunotherapy.

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Moreover, the hospitals' use of AI also falls in line with the Belgian Government's recent push to become a "major and reliable AI nation," as announced in October of last year.

However, the software will be limited for the first time to only analysing common breast, lung and prostate tumours, with the objective of analysing 1,000 samples a year until increasing to 15,000 by 2024.

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