Thai hospital researching AI to diagnose lung disease

Doctors at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital are working with a Thai technology company to explore the use of artificial intelligence software in diagnosing lung diseases and hope to share the technology with more hospitals next year.

AI can inspire insecurity among staff because of its potential for disruption and eliminating workers. Rather than replacing medical professionals, however, AI can be used to make up for a shortage of experts and qualified personnel.

“Diagnosis of lung diseases from x-rays requires experts and we are in short supply of these doctors. Application of AI can therefore play an important role in countering this shortfall,” said Dr. Prasit Watanapa, the Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, said.

Siriraj signed an agreement last week with Perceptra, a Thai technology company specializing in AI products for use in healthcare, data analytics, and real estate.

Supitchaya Phupisit, Executive Chairman of Perceptra, said the company has developed a suite of medical AI solutions called Inspectra. It consists of several AI systems working together, including image screening, medical report analysis, pre-processing images, and diagnosis.

Inspectra can screen for 14 symptoms of diseases from chest x-rays. Doctors can access the service through a website application.

The benefits of Inspectra are rapidity and precision of diagnosis. “Patients will acknowledge their illness faster, while diagnostic mistakes will be decreased,” said Dr. Pipat Chiewvit, Head of Radiology at Siriraj Hospital.

Perceptra said it is developing other AI applications for healthcare with the aim of helping Thailand achieve its goal of becoming a global medical hub.

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