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Globally, over the last twenty years, life expectancy has increased from an average of 66-years-old to 73-years-old. But as we begin to live longer lives, we become more susceptible to serious illness. How can technology assist us in identifying diseases early and help us live healthier lives?
Always seeking value from innovation, Fujifilm aims to improve society by providing the technology that helps people live long and healthy lives. The company entered the medical field in 1936 with X-ray film. During the 1980s, it developed the world’s first digital X-ray image, which is now an industry standard, with Fuji Computed Radiography. Today, Fujifilm continues to expand its medical imaging range.
This includes strengthening its position as a leader in picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). Fujifilm’s PACS offers a web-based user interface for fast image display, providing medical professionals with the tools to query multiple image archives at the same time.
Fujifilm’s PACS solutions support clinical collaboration and workflow efficiency, and its stringent security measures have led to its use by the US Department of Defense, as well as medical institutions across the world.
The company wants to create a society where people can live healthily for longer. And that means contributing not just to imaging but to diagnosis, treatment, and disease prevention. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has a major role in supporting that.
Easing the Burden on Healthcare Professionals and Patients
Across the world, as medical costs rise, populations grow, and people live longer, there is a critical shortage of doctors and nurses. According to the World Health Organization*1, almost two-thirds of the world’s population has no access to diagnostic imaging. Diagnostic imaging can help resolve between 70 to 80% of diagnostic problems and combined with smart technology, hospitals can reduce the burden on patients, the state, and medical professionals.
Early detection means patients can start treatment before symptoms get worse. Because treatment is started earlier, while the condition is milder, medications are often less aggressive.
AI technology can also help make medical professionals’ jobs easier. It can support decision-making, while partially automated workflows can help to alleviate physician exhaustion brought on by long hours and heavy workloads.
Helping Specialists’ Time Go Further
The US is facing a shortfall of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034*2, with radiologists among them, and this means increased medical caseloads. According to Dr. Richard Epstein, Chief Medical Information Officer, University Radiology Group, “It is not unusual to have MRI images in the hundreds and CT scans in the thousands. The volume of images we’re looking at is so much larger than it used to be. So (radiology) naturally lends itself to AI technology and deep learning”.
AI technology can help make radiologists’ time go further. Fujifilm provides healthcare organizations with a platform to connect AI algorithms for different diseases, from multiple vendors with single PACS, aiming to allow doctors to streamline the diagnostic process. Fujifilm’s image processing heritage is married with trained AI algorithms which opens up the possibility of flagging abnormalities that may be overlooked by the human eye, aiming to obtain an even more accurate diagnosis.
Fujifilm’s medical AI technology can assist medical professionals with:
Fujifilm’s medical AI technology can help understand anatomical structures, highlighting the relevant elements. It analyzes images and suggests possible anomalies, making data easier for radiologists to interpret.
Fujifilm’s medical AI technology can help detect and point out the shapes of possible lesions, understand their density, and measure their extent. It adds a number value to each diagnosis, helping reduce image interpretation time.
Fujifilm’s medical AI technology aims to help facilitate the lengthy process of writing reports by describing the measurements and placement of possible lesions in medical language.
Taking a Closer Look
Fujifilm’s medical AI technology uses deep learning, an approach that allows AI to mimic the human learning process. Fujifilm’s vast experience in healthcare enables it to optimize materials and data for medical AI technology. This has resulted in great success, most recently in the ongoing study of various lung diseases. In some countries, Fujifilm supplies its own algorithm, developed by AI technology for those diseases.
Covid-19 pneumonia has a distinctive “ground glass” appearance. Fujifilm’s medical AI technology provides a score for the possibility of this appearance and marks areas, aiming to support the diagnostic and treatment process.
Approach to lung cancer
Fujifilm’s medical AI technology can suggest suspicious lung nodules, which may be the cause of lung cancer or other diseases, and measure them, which is expected to make the detection process and generating reports more efficient for doctors.
With its suite of solutions, Fujifilm aims to free medical professionals from the repetitive work of measuring nodules and writing reports so they can focus on diagnosing and treating patients. Smart AI technology coupled with up-to-the-second medical imaging technology helps professionals do their job and provides ongoing help to medical systems in developing countries.