FibroBot - diagnosing fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease causes 3.3 million deaths a year worldwide, making the disease one of our biggest health challenges in the time to come. Today, fatty liver disease is often diagnosed and treated too late in terms of being able to limit complications, reduce hospitalisations, avoid costly and invasive procedures, and reduce the risk of premature death. Many complications and deaths associated with the disease could be prevented by more accurate diagnosis, more effective monitoring of the disease and effective treatment at the right time.
Therefore, this project will explore the use of artificial intelligence and robot technology to develop improved diagnostic and clinical tools for diagnosing and treating fatty liver disease.
Today, one of the best diagnostic tests within the field is Fibroscan, a probe for measuring fibrosis, scar tissue in the liver. The probe measures the level of fibrotic scarring in the liver through the use of ultrasound. The goal of this project is to develop a prototype of FibroBot, a robot that will be able to measure the level of scar tissue in the liver with a Fibroscan probe.
The project is divided into three phases:
- In the first phase, CAI-x will build a set of AI-based ensemble models that can identify patients with asymptomatic fibrosis in the liver through, for example, blood tests. The work in this phase is built on knowledge gained from the development of an algorithm for early diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver as well as fibrosis.
- In the second phase, CCR will build a prototype of FibroBot. FibroBot will consist of a robot arm fixed with a Fibroscan probe. The robot arm will be able to move the probe to the patient’s body and automatically generate scans. The robot arm will hold the probe completely still, thus making it possible to make very accurate measurements and generate accurate image data that can be used for the development of an algorithm. In addition, the robot arm will physically relieve staff, as they will no longer have to hold and push the probe during patient examinations.
- In the third phase, CIMT will perform an early medical technology assessment (HTA) based on the EARTH model.
The prototype and algorithm are expected to be used for the further development of scanning solutions for other organs.
CAI-X contributes to the project with our competencies within the field of artificial intelligence, while CCR contributes with their competencies within robot technology. Professor and Head of Research at CCR Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu is project owner. CIMT contributes with competencies regarding early assessment of health technology based on the EARTH model.
FibroBot is anchored at FLASH – Centre for Liver Research, which is an elite research centre at the Department of Gastroenterology at Odense University Hospital.
The project is funded by the Region of Southern Denmark.