Olympus, a Japanese manufacturer of optics and reprography products, has signed an agreement to acquire UK-based cloud-AI endoscopy start-up Odin Vision.

Under the terms of the agreement, Olympus will pay Odin Vision a total of up to £66m in upfront and milestone-based payments.

Odin Vision is a Cloud-AI endoscopy company with a portfolio of computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) solutions and a deep innovation pipeline of cloud-enabled applications.

It leverages an advanced cloud-AI platform to help integrate AI into the endoscopy to support clinical procedures such as colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

Olympus said that AI-assisted colonoscopies contribute to more accurate detection of colorectal cancer, with enhanced detection rates, in the previous studies.

Current methods of detection can result in up to 25% missed polyps and misclassification, leading to increased time, costs, and risks for patients.

Odin Vision’s advanced AI-CAD and analytics solutions detect polyps in real-time during the procedure, and provide post-procedural analysis, said Olympus.

Odin Vision CEO Peter Mountney said: “Together with Olympus, we are embarking on an exciting journey to bring the next generation of cloud and AI healthcare applications to patients.”

Olympus said that the acquisition is part of its broader digital strategy to improve patient care by transforming clinical and procedural workflows.

The acquisition will complement its Digital Endosuite vision, which supports the use of AI and other digital technologies to extend endotherapy to improve patient care pathways.

The company intends to use procedure and clinical data collected and analysed in real-time to provide digital solutions to care professionals.

Olympus aims to create a platform with a wide range of cloud-connected software solutions, along with a strong ecosystem of third-party development partners.

Olympus chief operating officer Nacho Abia said: “Incorporating Odin Vision’s leading AI technology portfolio and innovation capabilities into the broader Olympus digital roadmap will create synergies that enable us to commercialise highly valuable endoscopy-focused software tools.

“Their product portfolio fits perfectly with our broader efforts to enhance the capabilities we bring in support of clinicians and to help care teams harness decision-driving data.”