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Intel is Helping Doctors Detect Throat Cancer in Seconds with “AAH” Sound

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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The field of healthcare is constantly changing, and technology has continued making new advancements in this field. One groundbreaking example is the recent collaboration between Intel, Far EasTone Telecom (FET), and Taiwan-based hospitals, leading to the development of an AI-powered app capable of detecting laryngeal cancer within seconds.

This innovative solution utilizes the simple act of saying “aah” to provide results with over 80% accuracy, showcasing the potential of AI in revolutionizing early cancer detection.

Before, diagnosing laryngeal cancer required intrusive procedures and lengthy lead times. But thanks to Intel’s technology, patients can now take an active role in their treatment by simply saying the well-known sound, “aah,” into a smartphone app. This straightforward move starts an intricate process in which sophisticated algorithms and a large dataset are analyzed by AI, which is aided by hardware and software based on Intel.

Intel’s Collaborative Efforts with FET and Taiwan Hospitals

Intel joined forces with Far EasTone Telecom (FET), a leading network provider in Taiwan, and local hospitals. Collaborating with institutions like Far Eastern Memorial Hospital and Taichung Veterans General Hospital, along with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the United States.

The partnership, spanning over a year, has focused on refining AI models to enhance the app’s diagnostic capabilities. By leveraging Intel’s Open Federated Learning, healthcare providers across participating hospitals contribute to training the AI model while safeguarding patient privacy through anonymized data.

Grace Wang, Intel VP and general manager of Intel Taiwan highlight the importance of this collaboration, stating: “Intel’s Open Federated Learning allows all healthcare providers participating in larynx cancer detection modeling to contribute to training the model while helping to protect patient’s private data.”

“With the addition of more partners and more data, the team will continue to optimize the model, and the outcome will benefit more and more people,” Wang says, explaining how JelloX Biotech, an Intel ecosystem partner, contributed to the partnership.

Unveiling the Power of “AAH” Sound App

Dr. Chi-Te Wang, Director of the AI Center at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, faced challenges in detecting early-stage laryngeal cancer. Recognizing the critical importance of early diagnosis, he explored voice-based analysis as a potential solution. The “AAH” sound app emerged from this exploration, propelled by Intel’s support in overcoming the complexities of processing vast amounts of data collected across multiple hospitals.

“Thanks to Intel’s IRTI [Intel RISE Technology Initiative] project, we developed an AI model based on a universal sound: ‘aah.’ The best advantage of this model is its potential application around the world, no matter what languages we speak, says Dr. Wang.”

The ability to detect early-stage laryngeal cancer extends beyond urban areas, thanks to low-latency 5G mobile networks. This innovation enables the extension of services to remote regions in Taiwan, ensuring that a patient’s “aah” can be analyzed promptly. Eric Chen from Far EasTone Telecom emphasizes the impact of 5G telemedicine, providing services across municipalities and townships, reaching over 30,000 individuals.

With successful implementation in Taiwan, the joint team envisions scaling this technology across Asia and exploring opportunities in the U.S. and Vietnam. Far EasTone’s deployment of 5G service in 2020 laid the foundation for these advancements, showcasing the potential to bridge healthcare gaps and leverage technology to improve societies.


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