China-Pakistan joint AI cancer screening lab put into operation

By Wang Kai | China Economic Net Mar 9, 2023

ISLAMABAD, Mar. 9 (China Economic Net) - China-Pakistan joint AI medical diagnosis lab in Islamabad was put into operation last week. The lab, located in the Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital, will provide free cervical cancer screening to 10,000 Pakistani women in its first phase of operation.

“It can also be used in the early diagnosis of other high incidence clinical tumors, such as breast cancer, gastric cancer, oral cancer, etc.,” said the project lead from Landing Med, a Chinese medical technology company that provided three cervical cancer screening devices along with 5,000 sets of supporting consumable items to Pakistan last December for the lab construction.

Different from traditional clinical procedure where patients have to visit the hospital several times for specimen collection, report analysis, and treatment, the AI-powered lab streamlined the operation by processing the specimen, scanning the slides and uploading them to the 5G cloud platform. Once data upload is complete, a medical team in China can make diagnosis remotely and a report can be generated in about 5 minutes.    

Up to now, the service has been available to surrounding residents after trial diagnosis for the hospital staff proved efficient and reliable.

China-Pakistan joint AI cancer screening lab put into operation

Dr. Ahmed Waqas receiving training on AI-assisted cervical cancer screening operation in Wuhan, China [Photo provided to China Economic Net]

Cervical cancer has become the third most common cancer in Pakistan after head and neck and breast cancers, and around 64 percent of Pakistani women who have this cancer lose their lives as they only discover the disease when it becomes almost incurable in the third or the fourth stage of cancer.

According to a study by the World Health Organization, cervical cancer incidence in Pakistan reached 4.7 per 100,000 women in 2020. However, from 2015 to 2019, fewer than 1 in 10 Pakistani women were screened for cervical cancer. Thus AI-powered, efficient and effective screening services can greatly enhance screening coverage.  

China-Pakistan joint AI cancer screening lab put into operation

Source: World Health Organization Cervical Cancer Pakistan 2021 Country Profile

China-Pakistan AI Cervical Cancer Screening Program started in 2019 on the ninth meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Joint Cooperation Committee.   Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination is considering equipping more hospitals in Pakistan with such AI devices, CEN understands.

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