富士フイルム、米インディアナ大学医学部と共同研究契約を締結

AI技術を活用した医療画像診断支援システムを開発

 富士フイルム㈱は、米国の高度先端医療機関であるインディアナ大学医学部(Indiana University School of Medicine、以下:IUSM)と、AI技術を活用した医療画像診断支援システムの開発に関して共同研究契約を締結し、本日より米国で研究を開始する。
 
 近年、CTの多列化など画像診断装置の高性能化に伴い、院内で撮影される診断画像の枚数が増大しており、医師がこれらの大量の画像を効率的に読影・診断できるソリューションが求められている。また、AI技術を活用することで、画像から病変の疑いがある箇所を検出したり、過去の症例と照合し、レポートを半自動で作成するなど、医師を支援し、医療現場の効率化に貢献できるシステムが期待されている。

 富士フイルムは、このようなニーズにこたえるために、医師の診断ワークフローを総合的に支援する、AI技術を活用した画像診断支援システムの研究開発を進めている。複数の自社開発プロジェクトを推進するとともに、多様な疾患に幅広く対応できるよう、優れた技術を有する国内外のAI技術ベンダーとも積極的にパートナーシップを組み、各社のAI技術を当社システム上で利用できる仕組みの開発を推進している。
 IUSMは、米国内に17の病院と約33,000人の従業員を擁する、米国内有数の高度先端医療機関であるインディアナ大学病院と提携しており、画像診断の知見やノウハウを豊富に有している。

 今回の共同研究では、富士フイルムの画像処理技術やAI技術と、IUSMの豊富な読影・臨床知見を融合することにより、医師の画像診断プロセスやノウハウを取り込んだAI技術を開発するとともに、グローバル展開を見据えて、医師の診断ワークフローを支援する最適なシステムを探索する。まずは、富士フイルムのAI技術による①加齢や臓器不全などの疾患によって全身の筋力や身体機能が低下するサルコペニア*1を対象とした、診断・治療支援の可能性、②脳神経領域での病変候補の検出および定量化による読影支援の可能性について、共同で検証していく。

 富士フイルムは、医療画像診断支援、医療現場のワークフロー支援、そして医療機器の保守サービスに活用できるAI技術の開発を進め、これらの領域で活用できるAI技術を、“REiLI(レイリ)”というブランド名称で展開し、各市場のニーズやワークフローに適したソリューションとしてグローバルに提供していく予定だ。今後、ビッグデータ化する診療情報に対してAI技術を活用し、医療現場のさまざまなニーズにこたえる幅広い製品・サービスを開発・提供することで、さらなる診断の効率化と医療の質の向上、人々の健康の維持増進に貢献していく。

*1 サルコペニアは、加齢、低栄養、臓器不全などの疾患によって、筋肉低下もしくは身体機能の低下を伴う病態。生命予後(病気・手術などの経過において、生命が維持できるかどうかについての予測)に影響し、特に外科領域において、手術患者の高齢化や手術侵襲によってサルコペニアを患う患者が増えており、最近注目されている。サルコペニアは、身体機能(歩行速度)、筋力(握力測定)、筋肉量(画像診断)をもとに診断される。特に、筋肉の形状は多様であり、個人差も大きいため、高精度な計測が難しく、また手間を要する。

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