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Cloud Endoscopy System Enables Real-Time Image Processing on the Cloud

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 28 Mar 2024
Image: NTT and Olympus have begun the world\'s first joint demonstration experiment of a cloud endoscopy system (Photo courtesy of Olympus)
Image: NTT and Olympus have begun the world\'s first joint demonstration experiment of a cloud endoscopy system (Photo courtesy of Olympus)

Endoscopes, which are flexible tubes inserted into the body's natural openings for internal examination and biopsy collection, are becoming increasingly vital in medical diagnostics. Their minimal invasiveness and safety, combined with advancements in technology offering high-definition imagery, Narrow Band Imaging (NBI), and lesion-detecting support functions, have significantly improved early disease detection. However, the performance and maintenance of endoscopes face certain limitations, and the growing need for features like real-time remote diagnosis demands innovative solutions. The future of endoscopy lies in leveraging cloud computing to address these limitations by allowing for complex image processing tasks to be handled remotely. This approach promises to enhance the endoscope's capabilities, including facilitating software updates for new functions and enabling real-time video sharing across hospitals for remote diagnosis and treatment. This shift to cloud-based processing is expected to overcome current equipment constraints, offering greater flexibility and rapid responses to evolving medical needs

NTT Corporation (NTT, Tokyo, Japan) and Olympus Corporation (Tokyo, Japan;) are jointly carrying out a demonstration experiment of a cloud endoscopy system that enables image processing on the cloud. This cloud endoscopy system leverages Olympus' advanced technology for endoscopes to perform image processing, a task traditionally handled by the endoscope itself but challenging with conventional technology. NTT's IOWN APN technology makes it possible to achieve real-time cloud image processing on the cloud. This demonstration experiment aims to create a reference model for the commercialization of the cloud endoscopy system, overcome the present limitations of processing performance of endoscopic equipment, and improve their maintainability.

The demonstration experiment will confirm the feasibility of the cloud endoscopy system as well as help address social issues like increasing access to advanced medical care. Additionally, based on the knowledge derived from the demonstration experiment, NTT can expand use cases, such as promoting the use of other medical devices on the cloud. Olympus will apply the study results and continue to evaluate advanced technologies using IOWN technology, such as the cloud endoscopy system.

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