Johnny Wong and Wallapak Tavanapong Receive a Grow Iowa Values Fund Grant to Develop Software for Computer-Aided Quality Control for Colonoscopy

July 6, 2007

Colonoscopy is an endoscopic technique that allows a physician to inspect 
the inside of the human colon to screen for colorectal cancer---the second 
leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. Millions of colonoscopic 
procedures are performed annually. However, an objective method that 
estimates the quality of colonoscopy (e.g., how much effort was undertaken 
to insure maximal inspection of the visible parts of the inside of the 
colon) does not exist, but is of significant importance. Together with 
collaborators at Mayo Clinic Rochester and University of North Texas (UNT), 
Drs. Wong and Tavanapong have pioneered methods and software tools for 
automatically measuring objective quality of colonoscopy. To the best of 
their knowledge, the invention is the first of its kind in the world. This 
research work also received the 2006 ACG (American College of 
Gastroenterology) Governors Award for Excellence in Clinical Research for 
"the Best Scientific Paper". 
The goals outlined in this Grow Iowa Values Fund (GIVF) proposal are: 1) To 
improve the automated objective quality measurement algorithms and software; 
2) To evaluate the effectiveness of the invention at several hospitals and 
clinics. The proposed tasks will help EndoMetric, an Iowa-based startup 
company, to commercialize the endoscopic research results. 
Broad Impact: The technology will enable large-scale, objective quality 
control in day-to-day procedure-based medical practice, which is currently 
not feasible. Therefore, the technology is attractive for all hospitals and 
out-patient clinics that strive to optimize healthcare delivery. 

For more information about the projects funded by Grow Iowa Values Fund 
(GIVF), see 
Iowa State awards $1 million for research promoting Iowa economic development