Detecting, treating and preventing cancer remains one of the biggest challenges in medical research. Now, a Japanese tech venture has developed a groundbreaking technique for early cancer detection using artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
Yamadera has always been an innovator. He started creating websites when the Internet was still in its infancy. Thanks to his early enthusiasm for web, there was more online information in 1993 about his home region of Aizu than there was about Tokyo.
“I am always looking to the future,” Yamadera said. “I want to create things that do not exist yet. And I want to change the world for the better.” As a natural challenge-seeker, he deliberately chose to focus on finding a solution in the area of cancer detection.
This led Yamadera to the founding of Eyes, JAPAN, a tech venture in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture. One of the projects the company is currently working on involves using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse a patient’s saliva for signs of cancer.
How it works
The project involves analysing substances called cytokines patient’s saliva. Cytokines are a type of protein secreted by cells in the immune system. These signalling molecules aid communication between cells in the body and change in response to factors like stress. There are around 300 types of cytokines, some exhibiting characteristic changes when a patient has cancer.
Eyes, JAPAN uses Artificial Intelligence to track and learn patterns in response to changes by to detect early signs of cancer.
Managing Medical Data
The aim of the project is to provide a simple, inexpensive and non-invasive test that produces results in a matter of minutes, supporting diagnoses of cancers such as lung and bowel cancers, which require invasive procedures for examination and treatment. The beauty of the project is that the more times it is used, the more data will be accumulated – vastly improving the accuracy of the results.
Eyes, JAPAN uses blockchain technology to manage huge amounts of medical data. Bblockchain technology is a distributed database of digital records, similar to those used in bitcoin digital currencies. Because the data is distributed rather than stored in one place, with blocks of data bound together using complex mathematical algorithms, it is extremely difficult to hack, and the integrity of the information cannot be compromised.
Potential of Technology
At the outset, Eyes, JAPAN did not have any specialist medical knowledge; the company approached the project purely from a desire to apply technology to improve lives. The ability to see the potential of technologies such as AI and blockchain, and integrate them into social-issues solutions, is what makes Eyes, JAPAN’s approach so unique.
This knack for envisioning new ways of applying advanced technology – using blockchain technology and artificial intelligence in cancer detection – is what makes Eyes, JAPAN such an exciting innovative force. Its groundbreaking saliva analysis test may soon be helping doctors save lives, and the project could open many doors to other medical research areas.