Doctors diagnose 140,000 to 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year in the U.S., according to the CDC. In 2016, for example, there were 141,270 reported new cases of colon and rectum cancer and 52,286 deaths. The 5-year colorectal cancer survival rate for both sexes and all races is 64.2%. Cancers of the colon and rectum progress slowly, so early detection can greatly reduce the fatality rate. Screening plays an essential role in this early detection. In 2018, 68.8% of U.S. adults aged 50 to 75 years followed the recommended regimen of colorectal cancer screening. The good news is that this represents an increase over the past decade, but it also means that nearly one-third of the population is not getting screened.

We’ve written about new tech for detecting colorectal polyps, including Medtronic’s PillCam Colon 2 and American BioOptics’ InPoint System that uses optical analysis of rectal ultrastructure in a procedure that does not require fasting or sedation. The Hoya Group’s Pentax Medical division recently received CE mark clearance for Discovery, an AI-assisted polyp detector. Discovery is built into a flat monitor that is compatible with Pentax Medical video endoscopy systems.

The Discovery system highlights potential polyps in real-time, which enables endoscopists to increase their Adenoma Detection Rate (ADR), which in turn contributes to reducing colorectal cancer mortality.

The Discovery system software was trained using a data set of more than 120,000 images gathered from 300 clinical cases. Pentax Medical plans an initial market launch for Discovery in the spring of 2020.