Intermountain Healthcare Bringing New Artificial Intelligence Technology to Heber Valley, Wasatch Back, & Other Utah Communities to Fight Colon Cancer

Salt Lake City, UT, Nov. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intermountain Healthcare is the first health system in Utah to use a new tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to aid doctors in detecting colorectal polyps in real time during a colonoscopy to help patients fight colon cancer.

This new technology, called GI Genius, is being used at four Intermountain hospitals: Intermountain Heber Valley Hospital, Intermountain Fillmore Hospital, Intermountain Delta Community Hospital, and Intermountain Cedar City Hospital, to improve colorectal polyp detection, remove pre-cancerous colorectal polyps early, and save more lives.

Intermountain and Medtronic, the distributor of the GI Genius intelligent endoscopy module, are bringing GI Genius and training to rural communities in Utah thanks to the Health Equity Assistance Program partnership between Medtronic, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and Amazon Web Services.

“We are extremely excited for implementation of the GI Genius module,” said Holly Clark, MD, gastroenterologist for Intermountain Heber Valley Hospital and Intermountain Park City Hospital. “This advancement in our endoscopy services will significantly help us to detect pre-cancerous colorectal polyps earlier and help our patients in the Wasatch Back live healthier lives. 

The artificial intelligence or AI in the GI Genius module contains over 13 million images of polyps of all sizes, shapes and morphologies. In clinical trials, physicians have increased detection of lesions by up to 46% when compared to standard, non-artificial intelligence aided colonoscopy.

“By offering this cutting-edge, high-definition technology to rural Utah communities, we have the potential to detect more colorectal polyps and potentially prevent cancer,” said Nathan A. Merriman, MD, medical director of gastroenterology and digestive health at Intermountain Healthcare. “I see the AI in the GI Genius tool as a great teammate in colorectal polyp detection for all of us performing colonoscopies.” 

As part of the Medtronic Health Equity Program for colon cancer screening in underserved communities, Medtronic is placing 133 GI Genius units at 62 hospitals and clinics across the country.

“This tool is another way we are striving to provide the most technological advanced healthcare in our community,” said Si Hutt, administrator of Intermountain Heber Valley Hospital. “The health equity program allows us to bring this higher level of cancer screening close to home.”

The American Cancer Society, three national GI Societies, and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force all recommend the screening age for patients at average risk for colorectal cancer change from 50 to 45 years old.

Certain types of colorectal cancer, when caught early, can have a survival rate of up to 91%; however, it remains the third most common and third deadliest cancer among adults in the United States.

Every day, about 300 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon cancer and an estimated 50,000 people die from colorectal cancer every year. 

“That’s what makes this program so important. We know that missing colorectal polyps could potentially increase the risk of interval colon cancers that occur prior to the next routine exam,” said Dr. Merriman. “This technology has the potential to help us reduce the chance that we miss a pre-cancerous polyp during a colonoscopy. By improving our ability to see and remove more of these polyps, we create more positive impact with greater colon cancer prevention for patients and their families.”

Patients undergoing a screening colonoscopy in these four hospitals may be screened with the AI tool at their doctor’s discretion, and at no additional cost. 

For more information or to schedule a colonoscopy go here.


Headquartered in Utah with locations in eight states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs.


GI Genius ribbon cutting at Intermountain Heber Valley Hospital

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