AI-powered, cloud-based cervical cancer screening platform launched in China

Increasing the cervical cancer screening coverage rate of rural women in China is a priority and the new screening platform could potentially address some of these gaps.
By Dean Koh
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Credit: Landing Medical

China Maternal and Child Health Care Association and Wuhan University Landing AI Cytology Diagnostic Centre recently launched a cervical cancer screening AI cloud diagnostic platform. The platform can be accessed worldwide as of April 1, 2019 and women, especially those from countries along Belt and Road Initiative, will be able to benefit from a high-quality, low-cost cervical cancer screening services.

What’s it about

After 17 years of development, Wuhan University Landing AI Research Centre teamed up with multi-disciplinary experts who established a unique system that uses AI cytopathological* software and Landing's robotic hardware. Landing’s scanning platform is connected to a cloud platform and reports that are generated can be sent directly to mobile phones or could be remotely reviewed by cytologists before being issued.

What’s the trend

According to a journal article by Jiangli Di published in September 2017, China carries a heavy burden of cervical cancer, especially in rural areas. In China, although there was a steady incidence trend of 7.4/100,000 in rural areas from 2007 to 2009, the national incidence has increased by 200.0% from 2003 (3.8/100,000) to 2012 (11.4/100,000). The national mortality rate for cervical cancer has also increased incrementally, with an overall increase in that period of 116.7%.

The article stated that although more women in rural areas received free cervical cancer screening services together with an increased number of counties receiving funding from central and local governments to provide free services and improve their capacities, the overall screening coverage rate is still very low.

The quota of women eligible to access the free service was 10 million per year, which represents a screening coverage of only 20% of eligible rural women. For this reason, increasing the screening coverage of rural women in China must be a priority, and Landing’s cervical cancer screening AI cloud diagnostic platform could potentially address some of these gaps.

On the record

“The goal of releasing AI cervical cancer screening international cloud platform is to create intelligent, standardized cervical cancer screening network platform, which can be used by anyone anywhere,” said Dr. Sun Xiaorong, a leading scientist at the Landing Centre in a statement.

She added, “Cross-border cooperation can be carried out through the AI cloud diagnostic platform which currently has a monthly screening capacity of 2 million cases. The platform can also support the monitoring of the programme’s progress, quality control and improve follow up rates by quick communication with each participant in the programme.

Many resource issues that we see in rural China are almost identical with many other countries. Landing's successful implementation of a cloud- based cervical cancer screening in which millions of rural women participated so far can be replicated anywhere. Landing has already started pilot projects in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia where advantages of the cloud approach have been recognized.”

“China Maternal and Child Health Association will actively participate in the promotion of AI cloud diagnostic technology applications. The successful application of this technology in China at the primary health care level shows that China has been at the forefront of the world in this field. Our approach can serve as a model for other countries who have similar problem with resources for early detection of cervical cancer,” said Yu Xiaoqian, General Secretary of China Maternal and Child Health Association.

*Cytopathology is a branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses diseases on the cellular level.

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