Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 11, 2023

AI in Healthcare: A NVIDIA-Medtronic Collaboration

We, as in the royal “we” in terms of global impacts, currently find ourselves in the midst (or perhaps the beginning, many would argue) of “the iPhone moment” for artificial intelligence (AI). That phrase comes from NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote at this year’s GTC global AI conference, and he’s right. Defining breakthroughs in AI, industrial digitalization, cloud services and much more are happening as we speak and, as news commentator and longtime YouTube personality Philip DeFranco has repeatedly told viewers, “This is the worst AI will ever be.” (This is essentially antiphrasis; in this case, he means that – despite how downright impressive it currently is – AI will only improve from here on out.)

But back to NVIDIA. Having entrenched itself in the chip supply chain, the company is well-positioned to “power the AI revolution,” per many analysts consensuses. And one field that NVIDIA has tied its AI endeavors to healthcare.

In late March, NVIDIA officially announced a collaboration with healthcare technology provider Medtronic, a company with a mission to innovate; to develop tech-enabled medical solutions and change the health equity narrative.

As of this article’s publication, the two companies are poised to integrate NVIDIA’s healthcare and edge AI technologies into Medtronic’s FDA-cleared GI Genius, i.e. an intelligent endoscopy module that can assist physicians in detecting pre-cancerous growths. Developed and manufactured by Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, this GI Genius colonoscopy tool has been designed to host a suite of AI algorithms and the NVIDIA  Clara platform to scale development for real-time, AI-assisted procedures.

“Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can increase the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of global health systems,” said Kimberly Powell, Vice President of Healthcare at NVIDIA. “We’re collaborating with Medtronic to accelerate AI innovation by enabling a software-defined business model, with the goal of improving clinical decision-making, reducing medical variability and driving better patient outcomes.”

“We believe that collaborating with AI companies and developers like NVIDIA and Cosmo [Pharmaceuticals] is essential to driving innovation within the medical device industry,” said Giovanni Di Napoli, president of Gastrointestinal Business at Medtronic.

“We are committed,” Di Napoli continued, “to working with the best and brightest minds in the field of AI to develop technologies that can truly improve patient journeys and transform the way we approach healthcare.”

Medtronic also intends to integrate AI software and industrial-grade hardware like NVIDIA Holoscan and NVIDIA IGX, respectively, to support medical practitioners with medical device design and AI-enhanced diagnostic images.

Per Dr. James Weber, gastroenterologist and CEO of the GI Alliance, about GI Genius: "More than 19 million screening colonoscopies are performed in the U.S. each year. A key factor in the prevention of colorectal cancer is the integration of leading-edge technologies into gastroenterology practices to increase detection rates of adenomas and to improve outcomes for colon cancer patients.”

Per Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance: “The use of the GI Genius model has demonstrated a 14% increase in adenoma detection rate. Even the most highly skilled gastroenterologists will benefit from its accuracy in identifying polyps and lesions.”

The long story short? By introducing AI into this market, other healthcare professionals will ideally see the promise AI holds for pattern identification, diagnosis generation, treatment and illness prevention, and even the streamlining of administrative workflows so patient care receives the most focus.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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