Monday, September 20 2021

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Australia provides new tech platform to transform breast cancer detection

Update: November, 13/2020 - 11:08

 

VIETRAD, an online platform that uses machine learning technology to test, monitor and improve radiologic diagnosis of breast cancer, was launched on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Australian Embassy in Hà Nội

HÀ NỘI – VIETRAD, an online platform developed over the last year that uses machine learning technology to test, monitor and improve radiologic diagnosis of breast cancer, was launched on Thursday.

The VIETRAD project was developed thanks to the funding of more than AUD340,000 (US$245,700) by the Australian Government through its Aus4Innovation programme.

VIETRAD uses a novel image interpretation and training approach from Australia, transferred by The University of Sydney. Using high quality mammograms from Việt Nam and Australia, expert radiologists are able to practice reading images and improve their skill. Errors in diagnosis are identified, while machine learning technology helps to target training and further improve their capability.

This approach can transform radiologists’ efficacy in breast cancer detection on mammograms from below 50 per cent today to 85 per cent. This improvement is equivalent to that of Australian radiologists using the original platform.

Speaking at the launch event, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said: “Australia is proud to have been providing long-standing support to Vietnam in innovation policy and practice. The Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants, which scale up innovative ideas for socioeconomic development, are supporting so many interesting projects like VIETRAD.”

In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Health Trần Văn Thuấn noted that VIETRAD platform is the first of its kind in Việt Nam. “Now doctors and researchers can access to this advance system no matter where they are and improve their capability to detect breast cancer from reading mammograms,” he said.

The VIETRAD platform will be introduced and implemented in hospitals in Hà Nội, Huế, Đà Nẵng and Hồ Chí Minh City.

VIETRAD is funded by Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants, an important part of the AUD11 million, four-year (2018-2022) investment by the Australian Government to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system. Aus4Innovation is co-funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and InnovationXchange (IXC).

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Vietnamese women, with over 10,000 new cases diagnosed annually. With most patients presenting in later stages, treatment is more difficult and survival rates are reduced. Early cancer detection depends on accurate interpretation of breast images by radiologists and this is essential to improving treatment efficacy and patient prognosis. In Việt Nam, however, diagnostic efficacy in detecting abnormalities on mammograms is below 50 percent. VNS

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