AIIMS, New Delhi has taken a major stride in the use of Artificial Intelligence in diagnosing Cancer. Cancer is globally estimated to be the first most fatal disease than those from cardiovascular (Lancet, 2019) in high-income countries (HICs), middle-income countries (MICs). According to the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) estimates, there were 19.3 million incident cancer cases worldwide for the year 2020. India ranked third after China and the United States of America. A recent study published in the Lancet predicted that cancer cases in India would increase to 2.08 million, accounting for a rise of 57.5 per cent in 2040 from 2020. In India, over 8 lakh deaths were caused due to Cancer in the year 2022. Late detection of cancer remains the main cause of deaths. It is globally estimated that out of 80% of cases reported late, only 20% survive. However, out of 20% of cases detected at an early stage have a survival rate of 80% or higher. Early diagnosis is thus the key to reduce fatalities due to Cancer. One of the key issues in manual diagnosis of cancer is reporting of false negatives, meaning falsely declaring a cancer patient as healthy. Use of AI significantly helps in reducing such false negatives.
To exploit the power of AI in healthcare, AIIMS, New Delhi, in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Pune, has recently launched an AI platform, iOncology.ai, for facilitating early detection of Cancer. At the core of this platform lies a sophisticated AI system capable of analyzing complex medical data, including diagnosis, with unprecedented accuracy and efficiency. iOncology.ai platform encapsulates deep learning models. As volume of data, both clinical and radiological/ histopathology images, increases, this platform thus has a capability of Self-learning to constantly improve its outcome. As the breast and ovarian cancers are reported to be the most common cause of cancer amongst women in India, first application of iOncology.ai platform has been done by AIIMS in these two domains. Accordingly, the Learning Models used by the platform have been specially tailored for early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.
The present system has built a large data set of about half a million radiological and histopathological images. This data has been collected during examination and diagnosis of about ~1500 patient cases of breast and ovarian cancer over a period in AIIMS. The AI platform was successfully used by the Department of Gynaecology and Dr.BRAIRCH/NCI of AIIMS on actual patients to validate the clinical examination and diagnosis. Encouraged with its success, the AI platform has since been implemented at 5 district hospitals in the country.
The AI platform was showcased recently at the Med-hackathon event during Research Day celebrations at AIIMS on 30th January. More than hundred participants (Clinicians as well as Researchers) interacted with iOncology.ai platform and showed keen interest in this innovative development. The platform’s user-friendly design and robust performance with high level of accuracy was highly appreciated by the visiting Cancer experts during this event. Based on the response of these experts, AIIMS is looking forward to partner with several other Cancer hospitals and research centers in the country. As this is an indigenously developed technology, it will be easy for AIIMS to make this platform available to these organizations.
iOncology.ai platform is the outcome of a successful collaborative R&D initiative of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology with AIIMS, New Delhi, and CDAC, Pune. This front-line research program is being closely steered by the Research Committee of AIIMS, New Delhi. Dr. M. Srinivas, Director, AIIMS, Dr. Alok Thakkar, Prof & Head, NCI-AIIMS, Dr. G.K. Rath, Head NCI-AIIMS & Chief, DRBRAIRCH Professor, Radiology Oncology, Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, HOD, Onco-Anesthesia Pain & Palliative Care, DRBRAIRCH, Dr. Neerja Bhatla, Prof, Department of Gynecology, Dr. S.V.S Deo, Prof & Head, Department of Surgical Oncology, DRBRAIRCH, AIIMS, Dr. Sandeep Mathur, Prof., Dept of Pathology, Dr. Haresh K.P., Add. Prof. Dept of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Ekta Dhamija, Additional Professor, BRAIRCH, AIIMS, Dr. M.D. Ray, Prof, Dept. of Surgical Oncology, BRAIRCH, Dr. Pranay Tanwar, Prof. Laboratory Oncology Unit, BRAIRCH, Dr. S.K. Meher, Computer Facility, Dr Haresh KP, Dr. Rambha Pandey, Additional Professor, Dept of Radiation Oncology, BRAIRCH, Dr. Chandrashekhar, Professor, Department of Radiology, Dr. Babul Bansal, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Surgical Oncology, BRAIRCH, Dr Fouzia Siraj, Scientist D,ICMR-National Institute of Pathology, Safdarjung Hospital Campus, New Delhi. Dr. Dipanvita Banerjee, Department of Obst & Gynae, Dr. Sarita Kumari, Department of Obst & Gynae, Dr. Pramod Gautam, Add. Prof. Dept of Biochemistry, AIIMS, New Delhi have been very closely associated and pro-actively guiding the development and adoption of this technology at AIIMS. Development of this platform is being steered and coordinated by Dr. Ashok Sharma, Additional Professor, Department of Biochemistry, AIIMS, New Delhi, and Ms. Lakshmi Panat, Associate Director, CDAC, Pune.