Technology employing artificial intelligence developed by startup Exper, at Tecnopuc
PUCRS’ São Lucas Hospital (HSL) will be the first hospital in Brazil to offer a clinical-level Check Lung, an artificial intelligence exam that tracks down early-stage lung cancer and other diseases. This technique was developed at PUCRS’ Science and Technology Park, by startup Exper, and is mostly recommended for smokers, starting at the age of 50. HSL patients who are interested in the technology can screen their previous exams in Check Lung, without having to be screened again.
Check Lung uses low-dose computed tomography, a technique that has produced excellent results in research with a similar protocol in the US. In a study developed in 2011 with former smokers (aged up to 74), more than 20% of the participants had a first-degree relative with lung cancer. The use of technology to identify the disease reduced mortality from this type of cancer by 20.3%, compared to screening by plain radiography.
Check Lung can also track other diseases, such as coronary artery calcification (which is also associated with smoking and old age), osteoporosis and fatty liver.
According to Bruno Hochhegger, Head of HSL’s Diagnostic Imaging Center and founder of the company responsible for Check Lung, the goal of the exam is to track down asymptomatic individuals who have not yet been diagnosed with the diseases: “This means that, upon discovering an early-stage lung nodule, the treatment of this patient could be geared towards the cure, which would be a totally different scenario if the disease were discovered late”, he adds.
Ana Gellati, a medical doctor at HSL’s Oncology Service, reinforces the impact of early detection: “Having access to this technology is of real relevance to treat pulmonary as well as many other diseases. It makes a lot of difference, since it generally reduces mortality”.