The company will use NAS technology on Google Cloud AI Platform to create AI models for organ segmentation based on diagnostic images


Googleplex Headquarters, Mountain View, US. (Credit: The Cristiano Tomás/Wikipedia.)

Varian has collaborated with Google Cloud to develop an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) based diagnostic platform to help the fight against cancer.

Using Neural Architecture Search (NAS) technology on Google Cloud AI Platform, the partnership aims to create AI models for organ segmentation.

Organ segmentation is the process of detecting the organs and tissues that required to be targeted or protected during radiation therapy, using diagnostic images.

Creating AI models for organ segmentation is said to be a labour-intensive process, and can be a bottleneck in the cancer treatment clinical workflow, said the medical tech company.

Varian technology and innovation office senior vice president Corey Zankowski said: “At Varian, we are working towards a world without fear of cancer, where high-quality cancer care, personalised and optimized for each patient, is available everywhere.

“To that end, we have committed ourselves to Intelligent Cancer Care, which seeks to automate routine or repetitive tasks in the radiation oncology workflow through the use of smart algorithms, machine learning, and AI.

“This collaboration with Google Cloud will turbocharge our efforts in this area.”

The segmented images are used in creating radiotherapy treatment plans that specify where and how much dose will be deposited during treatment.

Segmentation becomes a limiting factor in access to advanced treatments like intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) that require accurate organ segmentation.

Varian leverages NAS technology on Google Cloud AI Platform to create an AI segmentation engine that is being trained using Varian’s unique treatment planning image data.

The AI segmentation engine will be used to create customised auto-segmentation models for different organs in the body.

The company intends to incorporate the AI models into its treatment planning software tools for use in cancer centres worldwide.

Google Cloud product management director Craig Wiley said: “At Google Cloud, we believe AI technology has the power to impact a wide variety of industries, which is especially true in the field of medicine.

“We are excited to see how Varian accelerates AI innovation and segmentation quality to improve cancer care with radiation therapy using our state-of-the-art NAS technology.

“As Varian’s AI platform of choice, our teams are working closely to deliver best-in-class AI for cancer treatment to patients around the world.”