Updated: Apr 8, 2019
BIOMIND “Doctor,” An Artificial Intelligence Machine To Diagnose Brain Tumour Process
Our Lion City is becoming a strong hub for research in technology as global tech giants see Singapore becoming the next AI hub. Singapore is attracting the world’s leading artificial intelligence talent because of its status as a cosmopolitan society and strong state backing for technology research, according to the head of the private equity firm building a mega hub in the city for start-ups involved in the sector.
Joel Ko, co-founder and chief executive, of Marvelstone Ventures a Singapore-based company, said Alibaba’s announcement recently that it would site one of its global AI research facilities in Singapore a focal point for the fast growing industry. The Chinese conglomerate – owner of the South China Morning Post also revealed it was setting up an AI hub of its own in the city state, which would incubate 100 start ups every year. It said its hub would be “the world’s biggest” when it opens in 2018. The diversity of technology facility set-ups in Singapore could be an opportunity for partnership and collaboration” as what we see Alibaba and other technology giants. Such a movement by a technology giant is good for us because they make AI buzzing and popular with the country’s heterogeneous ethnic make-up made it attractive to AI researchers across the world.
In the area of Healthcare Tech firms are racing to apply AI globally. DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, for example, is training an AI algorithm to diagnose eye diseases.
Hanalytics, a Singapore start-up company is one such AI technology company that has developed an artificial intelligence machine helping doctors the tedious process of diagnosing a brain tumour easier and less prone to human error. The Biomind ‘AI’ machine can do in a second what an experienced doctor would take 30 minutes to complete, given the thousands of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images that need to be checked. Cancer cells also have to be identified and a report written. The Biomind machine was developed at a research centre in collaboration between Hanalytics and Beijing Tiantan Hospital, where it has been used on patients for two months. China is trying to become a world leader in AI and has been moving aggressively to adopt it in the healthcare sector through the partnership with Hanalytics.
Hanalytics said it is the first Healthcare AI machine that can diagnose a suite of neurological conditions, from brain tumours to vascular issues. Neurological conditions with accuracy of over 90 per cent can be picked up by Biomind, higher than the 60 per cent by top doctors at the Beijing hospital, noted Mr Moh, chief executive of, Hanalytics at the firm’s research centre for neurology at Beijing Tiantan Hospital.
A single scan contains over 3,000 images. The AI is able to identify where the condition is, what it is, and churn out a report – all in an instant,” said Mr Moh. Biomind makes this decisions after being “trained” on a bank of over two decades’ worth of MRI and CT records of the hospital’s past diagnoses. It also learns from its mistakes. If it makes a wrong diagnosis, a senior doctor can correct it and this correction is stored in the database so it does not make the same error in future.
Apart from Beijing Tiantan Hospital's renowned neurology expertise, the hospital was picked for the trial because of the sheer number of patients it sees - it does about 10,000 neurosurgery procedures a year. Dr Gao Peiyi, a neurorcadiologist, said Biomind will allow doctors to be more productive. It also provides more consistent diagnoses, he said. "It does not get tired... Human doctors are affected by emotions, their physical state, time and other external factors, and this can affect the accuracy of their diagnoses."