NTT Data plans to develop AI-backed diagnosis service globally

TOKYO, NNA - NTT Data Corp. said Friday it has invested an undisclosed sum in a medical imaging startup, DeepTek Inc., as part of its drive to globally develop its radiology diagnostic support business using artificial intelligence.

NTT Data now owns about 10 percent of the information technology firm, which is headquartered in the U.S. state of Delaware but operating mainly in Pune, a city in the industrialized state of Maharashtra, India, according to the Japanese company's press office.

NTT Data aims to spread the use of its flagship digital medical archiving service called Unified Clinical Archive, which it calls an "advanced, vendor-neutral solution" designed to ease the workload of radiologists and raise their efficiency in diagnosing various diseases, including cerebral hemorrhage.

"It is a small amount of investment for us but this should help us develop our service globally," an NTT Data spokeswoman told NNA. "Following further experiments to see if AI is accurately diagnosing medical conditions, we hope to commercialize the service in fiscal 2019."

Earlier this year, NTT Data and its U.S. subsidiary, NTT Data Services, conducted an experiment using its AI-supported solution to check for emphysema at a hospital in India, where DeepTek was already providing digital diagnostic support.

Following its experiments in the United States and India, NTT Data plans to conduct on-site research at hospitals in Japan in the current fiscal year ending in March 2019, using United Clinical Archive.

By 2022, NTT Data targets 10 billion yen in global sales of the UCA solution, which is used at 1,100 clinical sites. More than 15 billion images from the technology are stored in NTT Data's cloud storage system. (NNA/Kyodo)