Medtronic exec: AI could become a GI industry standard for detection

Artificial intelligence has the potential to become a money-saving industry standard in gastroenterology.

Austin Chiang, MD, chief medical officer of gastrointestinal at Medtronic, spoke with Becker's on April 29 to discuss how AI could be the next cost-effective industry standard for detection.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: Do you see AI become an industry standard for detection in the next few years?

Dr. Austin Chiang: Absolutely. I think that especially when it's a technology that infers minimal additional risk to the patient, it will definitely help aid detection. I always think about when there's an additional tool to help physicians do these things, if I were to [receive] a procedure, would I rather not have it or would I rather have an extra set of eyes to help the physician out with the procedure? I think the other thing is when I think about other fields or other specialties, AI is transforming those fields already. [There are] other fields where we've seen some transformation when it comes to pathology or radiology, so GI certainly has to be included in that entire movement.

Q: How do you see AI colonoscopy screening impacting the economy if it becomes the standard?

AC: The whole purpose of screening colonoscopy is that if we can pick up things earlier and prevent colorectal cancer potentially, we can reduce a lot of downstream costs that are related to colon cancer. So if we can prevent patients from undergoing big complex surgeries or really costly treatments, then that'll save the healthcare system a lot of money down the road. It's really augmenting our preventative efforts and saving costs that way.

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