​Sengkang General Hospital and Medtronic establish Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Colonoscopy.

SINGAPORE, 14 MARCH 2023 – In conjunction with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) and Medtronic International Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT) – a global medical technology company - signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, announcing a collaboration to establish SKH as a Centre of Excellence for artificial intelligence (AI) assisted colonoscopy. The Centre of Excellence aims to advance the use of AI-assisted colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening thereby increasing detection and improving surveillance of non-cancerous, pre-cancerous, and cancerous lesions, to prevent as well as reduce the rates of colorectal cancer and death.

This MOU represents the beginning of a more holistic, forward-looking partnership between Sengkang General Hospital and Medtronic. The partnership will allow both organizations to collaborate closely in the areas of training & education, clinical innovation, external research, and increasing public awareness of cancer detection technology such as AI-assisted colonoscopy. Some of the areas of collaboration that have been identified include:

(i) To establish SKH as a regional training institute and global reference centre to advance research and education, enabling the advancement of AI-assisted colonoscopy.

(ii) SKH to lead clinical innovation of colonoscopy screening and detection practices through AI-assisted colonoscopy.

SKH has adopted the use of AI-assisted colonoscopy since July 2021. Based on a recent SKH 1-year study, findings revealed that out of 2,433 AI-assisted colonoscopies and 1,770 non-AI-assisted colonoscopies performed, AI-assisted colonoscopies yielded significantly higher rates of polyp removal (34%) compared with non-AI-assisted colonoscopies (28%). A majority of colorectal cancers arise from polyps and hence, colonoscopy with removal of pre-cancerous polyps is an effective screening procedure to prevent colorectal cancer. However, up to *one-quarter of colorectal polyps can be missed in a single colonoscopy.

AI-assisted detection and diagnosis have been increasingly used by specialists in colonoscopies as it increases the polyp detection rate. With the AI-assisted functionality acting as a second observer and highlighting abnormalities, its screening sensitivity has encouraged doctors to inspect the area more closely. Its image-enhanced capabilities may also aid the differentiation between pre-cancerous and non-precancerous polyps. It is thus a useful tool to augment the detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps for colorectal cancer prevention.

“Healthcare professionals encounter a variety of patient cases, each with its unique set of conditions and challenges. With the Centre of Excellence, healthcare professionals within and beyond our hospital can collaborate and share knowledge, insights and experiences to enhance the depth and breadth of their expertise. Combining these with AI functionalities, we can co-develop and advance the use of AI to improve early detection to prevent colorectal cancer. This is a huge advantage in elevating patient care and outcomes in our focus on preventive healthcare moving forward,” said Prof Teo Eng Kiong, Chief Executive Officer, Sengkang General Hospital.

“Colorectal cancer is among the top two most common types of cancer in Singapore4. Medtronic is excited to be partnering with SKH to introduce the first AI-assisted colonoscopy Centre of Excellence in Asia Pacific. The partnership demonstrates the critical role that technology plays in helping doctors and furthers Medtronic’s ongoing commitment to providing patients and physicians with innovative healthcare solutions,” Ms. Jennifer Cho, Vice President, and Managing Director, Island Southeast Asia, Medtronic.


For media queries, please contact:

Farah Rahman
Senior Executive
Sengkang General Hospital
DID: 6930 4475 HP: 9686 7159
Email: Farahliyana.Rahman@skh.com.sg

Priscilla Soh
Head of Communications, Island Southeast Asia Medtronic
HP: 9730 7102
Email. priscilla.soh@medtronic.com

Ryan Weispfenning 
Vice President & Head of Investor Relations Medtronic 
HP: +1-763-505-4626