Moscow clinics bet on AI-powered medical diagnosis, Russian startup triumphs in South Korea

Moscow clinics bet on AI-powered medical diagnosis, Russian startup triumphs in South Korea
Moscow clinics bet on AI-powered medical diagnosis, Russian startup triumphs in South Korea
By East West Digital News in Moscow January 14, 2022

No less than 2mn preliminary diagnoses using a neural network were made to date in Moscow during medical home visits, city authorities announced last week, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

“Today, the latest digital tools are used in routine medical practice in all adult polyclinics – including a clinical decision support system (CDSS) allowing for AI-powered preliminary diagnoses,” according Moscow’s Department of Information Technologies (DIT).

After the practitioner enters the patient’s complaint, the CDSS will suggest three “most likely preliminary diagnoses,” which the practitioner may consider or dismiss. The DIT claims the service has already “become more accurate by 7.4%,” with “accuracy now reaching 68%.”

The CDSS will then suggest further laboratory and instrumental examinations as well as specialised consultations to confirm the diagnosis.

AI-supported services are also used in radiology. Other technologies are involved in lung pathologies, breast cancer, coronavirus (COVID-19) detection and other diseases, say authorities.

Russian startup triumphs in South Korea

The Russian capital is also home to a highly praised startup in the field of AI-powered technologies for skin disease detection.

Launched in 2015, Scanderm has developed a suite of products that includes: a pocket device that tracks skin changes by combining “more than six technologies”; an online service that helps detect six skin diseases “with an accuracy rate of more than 90%” and an algorithm to detect melanoma “more accurately than SkinVision and a device for assisting doctors that is more convenient than HandyScope”.

 

ScanDerm works with a bevy of big pharma companies (including Bayer, GSK, Sanofi and others). It claims its services or devices have been used by more than 1mn people in 120 countries.

The startup boasts a dozen awards (Effie, The Festival of Media, etc.). Its latest success took place in late November at K-Startup Grand Challenge, a major contest in South Korea. According to media reports, Scanderm took third place among more than 2,500 technology companies coming from 129 countries.

One of the criteria of the contest was the number of projects involving Korean companies. Scanderm will receive financial and other support from the South Korean authorities to develop in Asia.

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“Scanderm’s victory in the K-Startup Grand Challenge is well deserved,” said international startup mentor and Alliance Tech co-founder Dr. Alex Kosik in an exchange with East-West Digital News.

“Considering all skin cancers, even though the deadliest one is melanoma, an AI-based CDSS must learn to distinguish not just between normal and abstract cancerous skin, but between non-melanoma cancers such as basal-cell carcinomas, squamous-cell carcinomas or, say, deadly Merkel-cell carcinomas, and of course between pigmented nevi and melanomas,” Kosik explained.

In term of diagnosis accuracy, Scanderm seems to overperform the sensitivity and specificity of the world’s most advanced AI-based CDSSs. These results are yet to be fully validated, concedes Kosik, who mentored the startup. However, he says, “Scanderm focuses on the strongest business case of the initial encounter with skin cancers and this segment has become even more pronounced as the pandemic has triggered a dramatic acceleration in remote medical services.”

 

This article first appeared in East-West Digital News (EWDN), a bne IntelliNews partner publication.

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