Claritas HealthTech (“Claritas”), a healthcare technology company specializing in medical image enhancement and Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted diagnostic tools, announces today that it is commencing clinical validation of CystoSmart™. CystoSmart™ is an image enhancement and AI diagnostic tool for bladder cancer detection in images (videos and camera stream) seen on white light cystoscopy and narrow band imaging (NBI) cystoscopy.
CystoSmart™, a Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), has been jointly developed through a research collaboration between Claritas and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), Singapore, under the leadership of Dr. Yeow Siying.
Dr. Yeow, a Consultant Urologist at the Department of Urology, KTPH, is the medical Principal Investigator for this project. She commented, “Our aim has been to develop an AI diagnostic adjunct that enhances the accuracy of detection of bladder cancers. This will be beneficial in allowing: 1) Appropriate treatment for newly diagnosed cancers 2) Accurate recognition of tumour recurrences 3) Complete tumour resection during surgery.”
Dr Molly Eng, Senior Consultant and Head of Department of Urology, KTPH, added, “We are happy to collaborate with Claritas in developing CystoSmart™, which will be beneficial in improving bladder cancer diagnostics and patient care.”
Bladder cancer is the 10th commonest cancer worldwide and the 6th commonest cancer amongst men. It is known to have high recurrence rates and significant risks of disease progression. Early detection of bladder cancers and recognition of disease recurrence can substantially reduce patient morbidity and healthcare costs, reduce the risks of disease progression, and improve overall survival.
Dr. Yeow added, “The detection of bladder cancer often involves cystoscopy, where a fibreoptic camera is inserted into the bladder to visualise its inner lining (mucosa). Most commonly, white light cystoscopy is utilised, whilst other adjuncts such as Narrow Band Imaging (NBI), can help improve the accuracy of cancer detection to a limited extent. Detection of bladder cancer can be challenging, particularly for flat lesions such as carcinoma-in-situ. Certain benign conditions may appear visually similar to bladder cancers as well.”
Dr. Arup Paul, Chief Clinical Strategy Officer at Claritas, highlighted the challenges of developing AI tools for cystoscopy that work in real-life scenarios, “Training AI tools that are reliable in clinical settings have been challenging because it is dependent on the quality of the captured cystoscopic images. Claritas has leveraged its image enhancement platform to create enhanced, clinically validated data sets, thereby allowing more detail to be extracted in training our neural network. Our pre-clinical studies have allowed the appropriate calibration and development with resulting evidence of high sensitivity and specificity. We are confident of moving into the next stage, with clinical evaluations utilising CystoSmart™ to demonstrate benefits for patients, clinicians, and healthcare systems.”
This collaboration was facilitated by National Healthcare Group’s (NHG) Centre for Medical Technologies and Innovations (CMTi). NHG is one of the largest regional health systems in Singapore. It comprises of primary care clinics, acute care and tertiary hospitals, as well as national healthcare specialty centres. Within NHG, CMTi is the primary engine that drives the innovation and enterprise ecosystem. KTPH works closely with NHG CMTi to translate clinicians’ ideas into commercialised products to facilitate better patient and healthcare outcomes. Claritas will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders in the industry to conduct evaluations in Singapore, UK and the USA while preparing for regulatory clearances.