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    Pullman Regional Hospital has an exciting new technology, the GI Genius! This device uses artificial intelligence for pattern recognition during colonoscopies, which improves the performance of colon cancer screenings.


    During a colonoscopy, the GI Genius highlights irregularities in the colon and polyps by showing them on the screen in lime green boxes; this helps the physician find and detect polyps since the colon is a cavernous, dynamic sleeve. Through a grant from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the hospital obtained two Medtronic GI Genius units. 


    "Colonoscopy is important to reduce colon cancer deaths," said Dr. Ben Adkins, a family medicine physician at Pullman Family Medicine. "But smaller polyps and flat polyps can escape detection. This system found that computer-aided monitoring increased polyp detection by 30% compared to the human eye alone."


    According to the Medtronic website, the GI Genius is trained with a dataset of 13 million polyp images of various shapes and sizes. Studies have shown that GI Genius is 82% faster than the average endoscopist at detecting polyps and has a 14% absolute increase in adenoma detection rate (ADR). Meaning the study found that including Computer-Aided Detection (GI Genius) in real-time colonoscopy significantly increased the ADR and adenomas detected per colonoscopy.


    "My experience in my past 100 cases using the system has been that it is a useful tool that adds a second pair of eyes to screen for colon cancer during a colonoscopy," Adkins added. "That helps us keep our patients healthy."


    The American College of Gastroenterology recommends that everyone over the age of 45 years old have a colonoscopy screening every 10 years. Those with an above-average risk (such as having a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or personal history of inflammatory bowel disease) should have more regular screenings- consult with your primary care physician to determine the right screening plan for you.


    A colonoscopy is an exam that looks for changes in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Doctors typically look for changes such as swollen or irritated tissues, polyps, or cancer. A doctor may also remove polyps or any abnormal tissue or take other necessary tissue samples during a colonoscopy.


    Talk to your primary care provider about scheduling your next colonoscopy, your risk for colorectal cancer, and the recommended frequency of colonoscopy screenings.


    What to Expect with your colonoscopy…

    • You are required to avoid solid foods the day before the exam. This means you should adjust your medications.
    • You will be asked to take a special prep laxative, prescribed by your provider, to empty your colon. You will need to limit daily activities accordingly and anticipate some level of gastrointestinal discomfort.

    Day of the procedure…

    • The procedure takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. You will need to allow for additional time to check in and recover after the procedure if you received sedation.
    • During your colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera is attached to the tip of the tube which allows the doctor to detect changes or abnormalities inside the colon.
    • When sedation is used, it can take several hours to wear off. Please plan to have someone to take you home.

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