Rosemere funds AI project to speed up lung cancer diagnoses

Rosemere Cancer Foundation has joined hands with healthcare technology firm Annalise.AI to speed up the diagnosis of lung cancer at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.  

Using our charitable funds, we have given £55,000 for the set up and first year running costs of the leading healthcare technology firm to help the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust with early Lung Cancer detection.

The programme, led by Consultant Dr Stephen Slater, will be at five Trust sites including the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Furness General Hospital, Westmorland General Hospital, Morecambe’s Queen Victoria Hospital and Ulverston Community Health Centre. 

Annalise, one of the largest radiology AI solution providers in the world, will use their proprietary CE marked Enterprise CXR (Chest X-Ray) to detect and triage chest X-rays that have suspected lung nodules for immediate reporting. This will expedite follow-up investigations and eventually help provide better patient outcomes.

According to statistics, those with lung cancer who receive a diagnosis when it is still in its early stages have a substantially higher chance of surviving for at least five years after that. However lung cancer is typically not identified or found until it has had a chance to develop and spread because most persons with the disease only exhibit symptoms in the later stages of the illness.

Dr Slater, who along with his radiology team trialled Annalise Enterprise CXR’s results reading capabilities for six months to the move towards wider adoption, said: “In 2021, almost 48,000 chest X-rays were performed across the Morecambe Bay sites. Due to the high pressures on radiology services, there is usually a waiting time of several days before a radiology report is issued. A recent spot check showed 800 unreported chest X-rays, the oldest of which was nine days. Annalise can be used to prioritise or ‘triage’ those CXRs showing urgent findings for same day reporting, allowing us to act on important findings earlier, for example lung cancers.”

In another review of chest X-rays from confirmed lung cancer patients, 49 out of 65 lung cancer diagnoses were identified by radiologists from assessing what was the patients’ first or a prior X-ray and 47 out of 65 by Annalise. If the radiologists’ readings had been combined with Annalise’s analysis at the time for a “second read”, 54 cases out of 65 would have been identified, an early detection rate increase from 75% to 83%.

Dr Slater added: “The studies show an improvement in the sensitivity for detection of lung cancers as well as a reduction of delays to diagnosis by using this software. Earlier detection has potential to alter initial staging and thus management plans, potentially improving prognosis for a number of patients.”

This announcement follows the UK National Screening Committee recommendation to introduce a targeted lung cancer screening programme across the UK for those at high risk of the disease.

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful supporters for helping us raise the money to fund cutting-edge diagnostic kit like this – it will help make a huge difference for cancer patients in the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay area.  

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