National: Enhancing its efforts toward early detection of Lung diseases, the India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre and its knowledge partner AstraZeneca India collaborated with the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) Jammu to integrate Qure.ai’s smart artificial intelligence technology to detect lung cancer early on.
Under the aegis of Indo Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre (ISHIC), Qure.ai is scaling up the integration of its AI-powered chest x-ray interpretation tool that can benefit the early and easy detection of lung diseases including lung cancer. The collaboration with DHS Jammu is a significant example of how technology can be leveraged and simply integrated into primary healthcare settings. Cecilia Oskarsson, Swedish Trade Commissioner to India said, “Innovation is critical to address the healthcare challenges in the country and we at the India-Sweden healthcare innovation center are working towards a mission to support these innovative solutions. We are delighted to initiate this first project in Jammu towards early screening and diagnosis of lung diseases in the state. We look forward to supporting the start-up ecosystem and the states towards building an innovative ecosystem in the country.”
Dr. Sanjeev Panchal, Country President, and Managing Director, AstraZeneca India said, “We celebrate the progress that has been made in cancer care, including advances in screening, the development of innovative therapies, greater public-private collaboration, and increased prioritisation of health equity. As a global cancer community, we have many reasons to be optimistic about the future. We are moving ever closer to achieving our ambition – eliminating cancer as a cause of death.”
The AI-powered chest X-ray is designed to distinguish lung nodules in under a minute and minimize the chances of lung cancers going undetected. Importantly, this tool is being accessed in the primary care setting where x-rays are utilised most commonly. Commenting on the technological advantage of the solution, Prashant Warier, CEO of Qure.ai said, “Our mission is to use AI to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. Our machine-based learning tools are enhancing the analysis of simpler diagnosis tools such as x-rays, and ultrasounds to catch serious diseases at very early stages that significantly reduce the mortality rates. AstraZeneca has helped us spread our offering across the world which has led to approximately 170,000 scans in 25 countries, with high malignancy risk lung nodules identified in 1.6% of scans. Today we are tapping further into technology to enable faster diagnosis and speedy treatments.”
In 2020, there were an estimated 18.1 million cancer cases worldwide with Lung Cancer being the second most common form of the disease. The constant increase in the incidence of lung cancer highlighted the need for healthcare organisations around the world to come together, collaborate and innovate the way lung cancer was addressed. In India, ISHIC-a tri-part collaboration with AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, and Business Sweden with AstraZeneca and NASSCOM as the knowledge partner was formed to fortify the healthcare ecosystem by identifying, mentoring, and integrating some of the smart and best-in-class healthcare solutions, in alignment with the health priorities of the country. To date, the center has mentored over 37 promising start-ups that can enhance the way healthcare is accessed and delivered.