Asian gastro docs generally trust and accept AI: survey

A new international research led by Nanyang Technological University Singapore set out to uncover insights into the perceptions of Asian medical professionals about the use of AI in healthcare.


The researchers surveyed 165 gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons from Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. They were administered a questionnaire asking them to rate their level of agreement with statements aimed at gauging their trust, acceptance, and risk perception of the use of AI in gastroenterology. The questionnaire gave three different scenarios where AI can be applied – detection, characterisation, and intervention.

Based on findings published in the scientific journal JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research) AI, around eight in 10 of the respondents said they accept and trust the use of AI in diagnosing and assessing colorectal polyps. About 70% said they accept and trust AI-assisted tools in removing polyps, while around 80% said they accept and trust AI in characterising polyps.  

While no difference was found in the levels of acceptance between public and private practices as well as big hospitals and small practice groups, the years of experience may be an indicator of trust in AI, the researchers noted. The survey found that gastroenterologists with less than a decade of clinical experience perceived more risks in using AI-powered tools than their more experienced counterparts. 

“Having more clinical experience in managing colorectal polyps among senior gastroenterologists may have given these clinicians greater confidence in their medical expertise and practice, thus generating more confidence in exercising clinical discretion when new technologies are introduced,” Joseph Sung, NTU professor and one of the study’s co-authors, explained. 

Prof Sung also thinks that young doctors in gastroenterology probably find AI risky given their lack of confidence in using it for invasive procedures, such as polyp removal.


Wilson Goh, an assistant professor at NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine who led the study, said they focused on specialists in gastroenterology given their “heavy usage of image-based diagnosis and surgical or endoscopic intervention.” 

This is evident in the rising availability of AI-powered decision support tools, software, and systems for the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders across Asia.

Japanese companies, AI Medical Service (AIM) and NEC, are known developers of diagnostic endoscopy AI. AIM is currently collaborating with Stanford University School of Medicine to verify its product. Chinese startup Wision AI also offers a CE-marked AI-powered polyp detection software called EndoScreener. 

Meanwhile, Asian universities and hospitals, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University, and the National University Hospital in Singapore have built their AI-driven endoscopic systems to assist with the detection, diagnosis, and removal of cancerous gastrointestinal lesions.

Related Articles

Back to top button