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ESGE Medtronic Artificial Intelligence Research Award could help prevent almost 100,000 more colorectal cancers across Europe

The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Cancer detection challenged by COVID-19

•    Suspension of non-urgent procedures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, has left healthcare providers across Europe with incredible demand on colorectal cancer screenings
•    Colorectal cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the Europe (1) but is treatable and curable if detected early (2)
•    Colorectal cancer is one of the only cancers that can be prevented. Through effective screening, most polyps can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer (3)
•    Colorectal screenings rely on the attentiveness, experience and frequency of the Clinical Endoscopist performing the endoscopies - even the time of the appointment can impact the doctor’s detection rate of cancer-causing adenomas, also known as polyps (12.4% variability morning vs afternoon) (4)
•    Adenoma detection rate (ADR) is one of the most important metrics when it comes to evaluating the quality of the Clinical Endoscopist in screening for colorectal cancer. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can offer a second eye to the crucial job of spotting adenomas (5)

Detect early, treat early, save lives

•    When diagnosed at its earliest stage, more than 9 in 10 (92%) people with colorectal cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 1 in 10 (10%) people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage (6)
•    Colonoscopy is the main test for diagnosing colorectal cancer (7). This procedure also has the potential to prevent the disease by removing precancerous lesions known as polyps, and so it is an important tool to help improve patient outcomes (8)
•    Missed colorectal polyps during a colonoscopy can contribute to a false negative diagnosis and may lead to colorectal cancer over time – it is important to reduce the miss rate of polyps to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (9)
•    Unfortunately, colonoscopies are not a 100% accurate because they miss polyps (10)
•    In order to improve health outcomes, the diagnostic process of colonoscopy accuracy needs to be improved and this is where AI is expected to play a valuable role (11)

How Can AI Help Save Lives?

•    By aiding polyp detection in real-time during colonoscopy procedures, AI can reduce endoscopy performance variability among endoscopists (9)
•    Through effective screening, most polyps can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer (3)

ESGE Medtronic Artificial Intelligence Research Award

•    The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, has launched a public private partnership to provide up to 75 GI Genius Artificial Intelligence Modules and up to €125,000 for AI research in colonoscopy to members of the ESGE to help identify new ways to apply AI to augment its role in early cancer detection, totalling a €1.5 million investment.

What is GI Genius?

•    GI GeniusTM, a new Artificial Intelligence enhanced endoscopy aid platform, has been shown in clinical studies to increase the ADR by 14%, with patients being 50% more likely to have multiple polyps detected (12)
•    Using AI, GI Genius™ supports the doctor during the endoscopic exam, acting as a virtual second observer to identify more lesions reducing a patients’ risk of colorectal cancer (13)
•    GI Genius was found to be 99.7% sensitive to polyps and faster than the average endoscopist at detecting polyps. False positive results were limited to less than 1% and the AI system anticipated the detection of polyps against the average of the endoscopists in 82% of cases (14)
•    Research studies on GI Genius™ have shown patients are 50% more likely to have multiple polyps detected (11). Improved polyp detection with GI Genius™ can lead to earlier treatment thus leading to higher survival (13)
•    The GI Genius platform is well suited for this research as the platform integrates into virtually all major endoscope systems
•    The GI Genius platform is simply ‘plug in and play’ and easy to use in screening procedures. The technology can act as a second pair of eyes for healthcare professionals

Spokesperson quotes

Professor Pradeep Bhandari, Chair of Research Committee at European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy said: “Early detection and diagnosis are crucial to reducing the risk of colorectal cancer and improving overall patient outcomes. Artificial intelligence has already been proven to improve our ability to detect early lesions. We expect, through ESGE’s collaboration with Medtronic to drive even more research in this area, and ultimately lower the incidence of colorectal cancer.    

Darin Wilson, Business Unit Director for the Gastrointestinal and Hepatology Division at Medtronic said: “We are proud to be partnering with the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy to launch this important initiative. GI Genius™ is the first widely available platform for Artificial Intelligence to detect colorectal polyps, and because it can be used with virtually all major endoscopy systems, is uniquely qualified for GI research. This product and the research it will provide, is the first of many plans Medtronic has to incorporate AI into diagnostic pathways. Its launch is timely and aims to help Covid-19 challenged departments. We look forward to seeing the results that will follow soon.


1.    CDC website -
2.    Survival differences between European and US patients with colorectal cancer: role of stage at diagnosis and surgery. Ciccolallo L, Capocaccia R, Coleman MP, Berrino F, Coebergh JW, Damhuis RA, Faivre J, Martinez-Garcia C, Møller H, Ponz de Leon M, Launoy G, Raverdy N, Williams EM, Gatta G Gut. 2005 Feb; 54(2):268-73. [PubMed] [Ref list]
4.    Lee, Alexander, et al. "Queue position in the endoscopic schedule impacts effectiveness of colonoscopy." The American journal of gastroenterology 106.8 (2011): 1457.
5. 10.1055/s-0032-1325686 Endoscopy 2012; 44: 957–968
6.    Cancer Research UK website -
7.    BMJVisualSummary
8.    Winawer SJ, Zauber AG, Ho MN, et al., The National Polyp Study Workgroup. Prevention of colorectal cancer by colonoscopic polypectomy. N Engl J Med1993;329:1993-81. doi:10.1056/NEJM199312303292701. pmid:8247072
9.    Hassan C, Wallace MB, Sharma P, et al New artificial intelligence system: first validation study versus experienced endoscopists for colorectal polyp detection Gut 2020;69:799-800.
10.    Rabeneck L, Paszat LF. Circumstances in which colonoscopy misses cancer. Frontline Gastroenterol2010;1:52-8. doi:10.1136/fg.2009.000257. pmid:2883954
12.    Repici, Alessandro, et al. "Efficacy of Real-Time Computer-Aided Detection of Colorectal Neoplasia in a Randomized Trial." Gastroenterology (2020).
14.    Gut article ‘New artificial intelligence system: first validation study versus experienced endoscopists for colorectal polyp detection’ published 15th October 2019

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