'The expert is the AI': Where GI tech is headed

Michael Wallace, MD, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Mayo Clinic/Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City in Abu Dhabi, spoke with Becker's to discuss the future of tech in gastroenterology.

Editor's note: This was edited lightly for clarity and brevity.

Question: Where is GI tech headed?

Dr. Michael Wallace: Everything we look at through an endoscope is now being applied through an [artificial intelligence] lens. The polyp detection is the most obvious application of that — it's the low-hanging fruit. What we're going to see quite rapidly now is AI applied to everything else that we look at. You see something that looks red to you and you say, "This is inflammation." You see a flat lesion in the stomach that may be an early cancer. You see inflammation in the colon that is maybe colitis and you're trying to grade that. Historically, we've had all these different nomenclatures and different classification schemes, which have always been problematic. The experts tend to be very good, but the people who do most of these endoscopies in the world can't replicate the expert experience. Now we basically put the expert in the box — the expert is the AI. The AI is in your machine. That's going to democratize high-quality endoscopy diagnostics.

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