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Until recently, humans have relied on the trained eyes of doctors to diagnose diseases from medical images.

直到最近,人类还是要靠熟练的医生用肉眼查看照射影像诊断疾病。



Beijing-based Infervision is among a handful of artificial intelligence startups around the world racing to improve medical imaging analysis through deep learning, the same technology that powers face recognition and autonomous driving.

位于北京的推想科技是世界上少数几个竞相通过深度学习改进医疗影像分析的创业公司之一,人脸识别和自动驾驶也是使用深度学习技术。

The startup, which has to date raised $70 million from leading investors like Sequoia Capital China, began by picking out cancerous lung cells, a prent cause of death in China. At the Radiological Society of North America’s annual conference in Chicago this week, the three-year-old company announced extending its computer vision prowess to other chest-related conditions like cardiac calcification.

目前,这家创业公司已经获得了7000万美元的融资,领投的包括红杉中国,该公司从分析肺癌细胞起步,肺癌在中国是造成死亡的主要原因。本周,在芝加哥举行的北美放射科学会的年会上,这家刚成立三年的公司宣布扩宽它的这门高超技术的应用范围,着手分析胸腔内的其他疾病,比如心脏钙化。

“By adding more scenarios under which our AI works, we are able to offer more help to doctors,” Chen Kuan, founder and chief executive officer of Infervision, told TechCrunch. While a doctor can spot dozens of diseases from one single image scan, AI needs to be taught how to identify multiple target objects in one go.

陈宽是推想科技的首席执行官,他告诉TechCrunch记者:“增加更多的AI诊断模式,我们就能为医生们提供更多帮助了。”一名医生查看一次影片可以看出十几种疾病,他们需要教会AI如何在一次扫描中识别多个目标。

“Doctors work long hours and are constantly under tremendous stress, which can lead to errors,” suggested Chen.

陈宽表示,“医生们长时间工作,并且持续处于巨大压力下,可能会导致出错”。

The founder claimed that his company is able to improve the accuracy rate by 20 percent. AI can also fill in for doctors in remote hinterlands where healthcare provision falls short, which is often the case in China.

这位创始人称,他的公司可以使诊断正确率提高20%。在中国偏远的内陆地区医疗服务通常都供给不足,AI可以弥补这一不足。



Like any deep learning company, Infervision needs to keep training its algorithms with data from varied sources. As of this week, the startup is working with 280 hospitals — among which 20 are outside of China — and steadily adding a dozen new partners weekly. It also claims that 70 percent of China’s top-tier hospitals use its lung-specific AI tool.
But the firm has had a rough start.

像所有深度学习技术公司一样,推想公司需要继续用不同来源的数据训练其算法。到本周为止,该公司正在与280家医院合作——其中有20家在中国以外——并且这个数字每周都在稳步增长。该公司还称,中国70%的一线医院都使用它的专们分析肺部的AI工具。

Chen also admitted that many western hospitals did not trust that a Chinese startup could provide state-of-the-art technology. But they welcomed Infervision in as soon as they found out what it’s able to achieve, which is in part thanks to its data treasure — up to 26,000 images a day.

陈宽也承认,很多西方的医院不相信一个中国创业公司可以提供最先进的技术。但是当他们看到推想公司这项技术的效果之后,该技术就立马受到了欢迎,这一定程度上得归功于该公司的数据宝藏——每天多达26000张影像。

“Regardless of their technological capability, Chinese startups are blessed with access to mountains of data that no startups elsewhere in the world could match. That’s an immediate advantage,” said Chen.

陈宽表示:“除了他们的技术实力,中国创业公司还有一个优势,就是可以接触到海量的数据,这是世界上其他地方所不能比的。”