Dr Jeffrey Dalli, a Maltese surgeon based in Dublin, is part of a research team that’s working on developing a tool that uses artificial intelligence to help out in cancer interventions.
AI, camera and colour coding
Currently being tested on cases of bowel cancer, the patient is given an injection with particular colours, and through a special camera, the AI will mark different areas in red if there is a tumor, and green if it’s strong. Speaking to TVM, the Maltese surgeon revealed his hopes for this tool in the near future.
“My aim is that, by the end of this process, we’ll have a tool that can be added to the machines we already have in the theatre that can help the surgeons and doctors so that in real-time they can determine the severity of what’s in front of their eyes”.
This new process would nullify the two-week waiting time for lab results. Therefore, if an intervention is required or the patient needs to be referred to another specialist, this decision could be taken with near immediacy. In terms of surgery, it will also let the surgeon know if more cutting is required or if an area does not need to be touched.
The research has been underway for over a year and a half, and although Dr Dalli expects it to continue for another year and a half before being completed, it does bode well for the future. With this type of technology and the increased use of robots in surgeries, waiting times are reduced, less pain is inflicted on patients, precision is increased and more lives are saved.