ISU Computer Science Research Selected for 2006 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Governors Award

November 1, 2006

A study led by Profs. Wallapak Tavanapong and Johnny Wong of Computer Science at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, Prof. Piet de Groen of the Mayo Clinic Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and Prof. JungHwan Oh of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, was honored on October 23, 2006 at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting. Their work represents one of the five abstracts selected for the 2006 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Governors Awards for Excellence in Clinical Research for "the Best Scientific Paper" at the annual ACG meeting. 

Groundbreaking Quality Control Work: 
The collaborative research work has developed a novel method to digitally capture, store, and analyze a complete video stream file created during colonoscopy. The software can automatically extract five quality measures from the digitized video files. We are not aware of any other software that can automatically analyze what a physician does during colonoscopy and provide objective data to the physician in a report. In other words, this is the first time a computer in completely automated fashion has been used to grade a procedure and thereby grade a physician. 

This collaborative began its work four years ago and is funded in part through a National Science Foundation grant for research of new methods of automated image analysis in endoscopy. The purpose of the research was to develop a method to gather objective data that could explain why large polyps and cancers are not always detected during colonoscopy. 

Research Applications: 
Research applications include the potential to provide large-scale, continuous quality control for colonoscopy in the day-to-day medical practice setting and the ability to assess progress during colonoscopy training or as part of endoscopic skills assessment. Colonoscopy is the best diagnostic tool currently available for colon cancer detection and is recommended for everyone beginning at age 50. 

Collaboration and Support: 
This is a joint research and development effort by researchers from the Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. This work was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Grow Iowa Values Fund, Iowa State University Research Foundation (ISURF), a Clinical Practice Innovation Award from Mayo Clinic, and the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Endowment Fund for Digestive Diseases. 

See here for more details.