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UAE-Based Prognica Labs Uses Artificial Intelligence To Detect Masses In Mammography Screenings

In 2020, Nature.com published how researchers from Imperial College London and Google Health made use of artificial intelligence (AI) to spot abnormalities on x-ray images from nearly 29,000 women, with results showing how the algorithm outperformed six radiologists in reading mammograms. With this being an indication of the theoretical potential for AI to be able to detect cancer earlier with greater accuracy, it also presents an opportunity that UAE-based healthtech startup Prognica Labs is hoping to tap into in the GCC region.

Launched in 2019 by Khalid Shaikh, Prognica Labs is on a mission to improve clinical outcomes and accelerate the discovery of advancements in the fight against cancer. The startup is building a smart screening solution that analyzes medical images and generates insights to help predict and detect early cancer signs using AI and machine learning. Given the complexities involved in different types of cancer, Prognica Labs has chosen to start with a focus on breast cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 21 million women are impacted each year worldwide by breast cancer.

And if we take a look at statistics closer to home, the startup found that in the UAE, more than 75% of breast cancer patients only seek medical advice after experiencing a sign or symptom of the disease and many seek such advice late. The lack of awareness about symptoms of breast cancer and routine screening has also an important effect on symptom appraisal and decision- making regarding options for treatment. The team at Prognica Labs also found that many breast cancer patients aged 35-70 years old have experienced delayed treatment following the symptomatic recognition of breast cancer, and the time interval between the initial experience of symptoms related to the disease and seeking medical help ran from three months to three years.