Image credit – RMIT University

We all get sick from time to time, but generally speaking it is better to prevent it from happening in the first place, or if it happens, to catch it early to increase the likelihood of you coming out of it with relatively fewer problems. For men, this might come in the form of prostate cancer where regular checkups are necessary in order to detect if something could be wrong.

However, researchers at RMIT University and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne in Australia have created an AI that they claim will be able to detect prostate cancer in patients even before the symptoms show. This is done through CT scans, which typically aren’t used for cancer screening due to the high radiation that is emitted, but the researchers have trained their AI to look for clues in these scans.

In order to spot signs of prostate cancer, the researchers looked at various scans of patients who were asymptomatic with and without cancer. They then trained the AI how to look for the disease based on these scans, and also where to look, meaning that no cropping of the scans were required. Over time, with each scan, the AI improved its accuracy where it could spot even the smallest of irregularities.

According to one of the researchers, Dr Ruwan Tennakoon, “We’ve trained our software to see what the human eye can’t, with the aim of spotting prostate cancer through incidental detection. It’s like training a sniffer dog – we can teach the AI to see things that we can’t with our own eyes, in the same way a dog can smell things human noses can’t.”

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