Colonoscopy in 2021: 12 updates

From COVID-19 making colonoscopy backlogs worse to Medtronic's first artificial intelligence system for the procedures, here are 12 updates in colonoscopy this year: 

1. Research company NRG Oncology launched a study to examine patients with a first diagnosis of adenomas. The purpose of the study is to determine when patients diagnosed with one or two adenomas should have a repeat colonoscopy exam.

2. Adenoma detection is significantly higher using computer-aided colonoscopy than high-definition white light colonoscopy, according to a new study from Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

3, ColoWrap was awarded a $255,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant launches a research and development initiative to adapt ColoWrap's existing anti-looping colonoscopy compression device to a broader patient population.

4. Iterative Scopes secured $30 million in series A funding to develop its artificial intelligence-powered gastroenterology and drug development technology. Iterative Scopes' algorithms offer two applications — one that assists clinicians in detecting polyps and another that uses colonoscopy images to help physicians determine a given patient's clinical trial eligibility.

5. AmSurg and Mount Sinai Health System released new research that supports new recommendations to lower the screening age for colorectal cancer from 50 to 45.

6. The FDA granted de novo clearance for Medtronic's first artificial intelligence system for colonoscopies in April. The endoscopy module, GI Genius, uses AI to identify colorectal polyps.

7. Olympus Corp. of the Americas filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Cantel/Medivators in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for its endoscopy device.

8. The FDA granted Check-Cap's C-Scan an investigational device exemption March 15 that will allow the test to launch a clinical study in the U.S. The C-Scan test is a capsule-based screening technology used to detect polyps before they turn into cancer.

9. A blood-based colorectal cancer test was found to be the most cost-effective alternative colorectal cancer test for people who didn't want a colonoscopy or fecal immunochemical test, according to a study published in March in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

10. The American College of Gastroenterology updated its 2009 guidelines on colorectal cancer screening, making 21 recommendations in March. 

11. The FDA approved Smart Medical Systems' G-Eye colonoscope for the second time, clearing the way for the scope to be installed at New York City-based NYU Langone Health, the devicemaker announced Feb. 16.

12. Steep declines in colorectal cancer screening after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have gastroenterologists concerned about missed opportunities for early detection of colorectal cancer. Here are four gastroenterology leaders' thoughts on when they think the CRC backlog will subside. 

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