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Smart Opinion: Enhancing Breast Cancer Diagnosis with AI

Kenji Yamanami, Founder and CEO, Smart OpinionKenji Yamanami, Founder and CEO, Smart Opinion
Globally, breast cancer has emerged as the most prevalent form of malignant disease, surpassing even its lung counterpart in the last three decades. The situation is no different in Japan, which has also been witnessing a rising number of breast cancer cases for a while now. While the West has higher breast cancer rates compared to Japan, they also have higher cancer screening rates in the range of 70 percent, which stands at only 44 percent for Japan. These low screening numbers add to the high mortality rates associated with cancer in general. However, breast cancer has surprisingly high survival rates – if caught early. And, while mammography tends to be the go-to option for breast cancer detection, it occasionally misses out on cancerous growth in the earliest stages or gives rise to false screening, owing to the prevalence of harmless dense spread among various women, which usually shows up as tumors on the scans.

Kenji Yamanami felt these pressing issues first-hand when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the course, he learned a lot about the disease and the difficulty associated with proper, timely diagnosis. Having applied AI to conduct research on the human brain in graduate school, when consulting with his doctor friend, who suggested using AI-assisted ultrasound imaging for breast cancer detection, he pondered its applicability from viewpoints of technology. Yamanami partnered with a leading Japanese tech company specializing in deep tech programming to research the idea. This collaboration led him to establish Smart Opinion as a tech company, providing innovative AI diagnostic imaging technology to aid the early detection of breast cancer. “Our AI solution gives us the lead in breast cancer screening with ultrasound imaging,” says Smart Opinion founder and CEO Yamanami.

Smart Opinion’s cloud-based, nextgeneration telemedicine platform comes with a state-of-the-art AI engine that enables doctors and radiotherapists to make an accurate diagnosis of breast cancer even at the earliest stages in a fast and efficient manner. With encouraging research results published in acclaimed journals, the platform has the capability to proficiently detect both benign and malignant tumors, as well as eliminate false-positive results in breast cancer screening where nine out of ten cases are actually negative today. This heightened accuracy with AI capabilities relieves patients from the worries of waiting out their screening results post-biopsy for suspected cancer.

Our AI solution gives us the lead in breast cancer screening with ultrasound imaging

Smart Opinion also promotes re-detection through regular screenings to ensure better survival rates among breast cancer patients. In addition to enhancing accuracy in screening results, Smart Opinion’s solution aims to supplementing primary mammography screening – ideal for detecting non-invasive ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS) – at detecting invasive breast cancer as early as stage 1 when survival rate retains high near 95%, while cancerous tumors grow by one or two centimeters per year in many cases.

Not requiring any additional device or hardware, Smart Opinion’s solution comes with easy implementation for hospitals and enables their doctors to simply drag and drop the medical scans onto the platform to start the screening process. Also, with the medical imaging solution hosted on the cloud, the platform allows seamless integration with the AI engine. This, in turn, enables doctors to access the aid for ultrasound scans faster and perform the screening without even requiring them to drag and drop the scanned images onto the platform from their on-premise systems. All these functions ensure faster and more accurate visualization of results and facilitate the quick sharing of the same with patients over the web.

The platform – developed during the pandemic to assist hospitals in controlling their patient footfall and help clinicians provide online medical care to patients – is accessible to both patients and doctors as a web application. It is less dependent on devices and is easy to update, giving both doctors and patients the liberty to engage in consulting sessions online without requiring hospital visits for patients. Designed to accommodate hospital operations such as booking online medical appointments and holding face-to-face, online, or hybrid medical examinations with an easily navigable web-based user interface, the platform makes booking appointments a breeze for patients, especially the elderly and rural patients. Simultaneously, it lessens the burden of hospitals in managing their patients’ online medical care.

Smart Opinion’s AI solution is currently undergoing a regulatory approval process in Japan. Already, Smart Opinion’s cloud-based AI medical platform has found many appreciators in radiologists who concluded that their diagnosis work was greatly enhanced by its application. Yamanami recalls an instance where a patient was subjected to ultrasound scanning for narrowing down on a possible breast cancer diagnosis. Leveraging AI capabilities, the platform helped the radiologist accurately detect the cancerous tumor dynamically during the scanning process itself, as opposed to analyzing from static images of the scans.

In the coming days, Smart Opinion intends to develop a solution for scanning that will further heighten the accuracy of the first cancer screening. Collaborating with leading cancer hospitals in Japan, including the National Cancer Center, Smart Opinion is looking forward to joining hands with hospitals and tech companies across Asia to address the rising breast cancer rates. Going forward, Smart Opinion will continue to perform cutting-edge research on developing AI to read and analyze sonography and mammography results better for more efficient breast cancer detection.

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Smart Opinion

Smart Opinion

Tokyo, Japan

Kenji Yamanami, Founder and CEO , Smart Opinion

Smart Opinion provides an online medical care platform leveraging AI-based ultrasound imaging for accurate breast cancer detection. The cloud-based next-generation platform can proficiently detect both benign and malignant tumors, as well as eliminate false-positive results in breast cancer screening. With ultrasound imaging, Smart Opinion’s AI solution aims to supplement primary mammography screening for detecting both non-invasive and invasive breast cancer at the earliest stages to ensure better survival rates. Smart Opinion’s telemedicine platform is accessible to patients and doctors as a web application with an easy to navigate user interface.