Innovation & Enterprise


UCL experts and spinout using AI to detect early signs of oesophageal cancer

2 July 2021

Experts from UCL, and UCL spinout Odin Vision, are working with clinicians on the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) device for diagnosing oesophageal cancer.

Doctors look at computer screens, over a patient lying on a hospital bed

The first procedure using the AI technology was performed at University College Hospital (UCLH) by UCLH consultant gastroenterologist Dr Rehan Haidry. The system used to diagnose cancerous cells, called CADU AI, is the first device using AI for oesophageal cancer to be approved globally for use on patients.

Early signs of oesophageal cancer can often be difficult to diagnose. The cancer has a five-year survival rate of less than 20%. But if detected early, the disease can be eradicated over 90% of the time.

To diagnose the cancer, a doctor will typically use a small camera to look for subtle changes in the colour and pattern of tissue inside a patient’s throat, but these can be incredibly hard to spot.

The CADU AI system has been shown hundreds of thousands of images of diseased tissue and has learned to classify tissue using visual patterns. During an endoscopy, CADU analyses the image from the camera in real time, supporting doctors with useful information about the tissue’s visual characteristics.

Dr Anne Lane, CEO of UCL Business, said: “This milestone for Odin Vision’s oesophageal cancer detection system demonstrates the huge potential of UCL research to change lives through its successful commercialisation. We are proud to have supported Odin Vision from its early stages through the UCL Technology Fund and are excited to see what the future holds.”

Odin Vision is a UCL spinout formed with assistance from UCLB (the commercialisation arm of UCL and part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise). The company has grown internationally and secured funding with the help of UCL’s Global Innovation Team. They have also received investment from the UCL Technology Fund (managed by AlbionVC in collaboration with UCLB).

Read the full story on the UCL News website.


Find out more about:

Photo © Odin Vision