Mayo Clinic AI reduces by twofold precancerous polyp miss rate, study says

Artificial intelligence reduced by twofold the rate at which precancerous polyps were missed in colorectal cancer screening, according to a study led by Mayo Clinic.

Between February 2020 and May 2021, researchers examined 230 participants who received back-to-back colonoscopies on the same day at eight hospitals and community clinics in the U.S., U.K. and Italy. One of the colonoscopies used AI technology, while the other did not. 

Here's what researchers found: 

  • The colonoscopy that used AI had a miss rate of 15.5 percent, while the standard colonoscopy had a miss rate of 32.4 percent. 

  • The AI colonoscopy also had a smaller false-negative result than the regular colonoscopy: 6.8 percent compared to 29.6 percent.
  • The AI colonoscopy was able to detect more polyps that were smaller, flatter and in the proximal and distal colon.

"Colorectal cancer is almost entirely preventable with proper screening," said Michael B. Wallace, MD, senior author of the study, division chair of gastroenterology and hepatology at Abu Dhabi, UAE-based Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City and the Fred C. Andersen professor of medicine at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Mayo Clinic. "Using artificial intelligence to detect colon polyps and potentially save lives is welcome and promising news for patients and their families."

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