AstraZeneca and IKN Collaborate to Implement AI X-ray Technology for Early Lung Screening in Malaysia

AstraZeneca and Institut Kanser Negara (IKN) are collaborating to accelerate the digitalisation of healthcare in Malaysia by introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) X-ray technology for early lung screening in government clinics and hospitals under the Projek Saringan Awal Paru-Paru (SAPU) programme.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Malaysia, with a mortality rate of 19:1 per 100,000 population. Projek SAPU aims to encourage the adoption of AI X-ray screening by other government healthcare facilities, and IKN will be the first government institution in Malaysia to implement this AI technology as a centre of excellence for cancer care.

This initiative is part of AstraZeneca’s early AI-powered lung cancer screening under its flagship Lung Ambition Alliance programme, which was first rolled out in 2021 at the primary care level with private clinics with 19,000 patients screened for lung cancer since then.

In this third phase, called Projek SAPU, the AI technology will also be rolled out as a pilot study in selected government clinics and hospitals across the country, with selected centres acting as ‘sandbox sites’ to collect data on the results of the rollout, which will be used to develop an understanding of Malaysia’s local landscape and disease demographics.

This partnership with IKN enables AstraZeneca to provide a new experience to healthcare practitioners by embedding advanced AI technology for early lung screening and detecting various lung conditions, beyond lung cancer, commented Vinod Narayanan, Country President of AstraZeneca Malaysia.

Projek SAPU goes beyond lung cancer screening. As the AI technology works by analysing X-rays, it also enables healthcare professionals to detect more than 30 lung-related diseases or pathologies, such as COVID-19, tuberculosis and pulmonary fibrosis.

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