New Delhi/Gurugram: Japanese firm Fujifilm Corporation has launched a new health screening centre in Gurugram that is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled systems to screen for cancer and lifestyle diseases in India.
Known as NURA health centre, the facility can screen for 10 common cancers, including oral cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, esophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer and early signs of leukemia.
Fujifilm had opened its first NURA health centre in Bengaluru in February last year. Another one is scheduled to come up in Mumbai this year. The firm has plans to establish more NURA centres across India with an investment of over $200 million.
A full-body screening package costs Rs 18,000 at a NURA health centre and the results are made available in 120 minutes.
Known for producing photographic films, Fujifilm has successfully ventured into medical imaging and diagnostics equipment, cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, regenerative medicine, stem cells, biologics manufacturing, optical devices, and others.
Speaking to ThePrint, Dr Tausif Ahmed Thangalvadi, medical director at NURA, said these centres aim to bring in the Japanese culture of prioritising health screening to India.
“There is a misconception in India that cancer is an incurable disease. The five-year survival rate among cancer patients in India is said to be around 30 per cent as opposed to 70 per cent in Japan,” Thangalvadi said.
However, he said, this low survival rate is because Indians do not screen for cancer, and most patients don’t get diagnosed in time.
‘We use low-dose CT scans’
At NURA, the teams aim to offer annual screening for several cancers as well as lifestyle diseases in a short span of time.
“We use low-dose CT scans, so that the radiation from the scans are not too harmful. Since such low dose scans offer low resolution images, we then use AI to enhance the quality of these images. Another AI system is then used to screen for tumours, visceral fat levels, calcium scores and chronic liver conditions,” Thangalvadi said.
Thangalvadi, however, said that doctors at the centre will not be directly involved in treating patients. “People who come here know that we have nothing to gain from showing them a positive result for any of their tests. In case a doctor detects something that requires medical intervention, the individual will be briefed so that they can take the right decision and consult their own physicians in time.”
“Ensuring the highest health standards in every region we operate has been our utmost priority. We have a special connection with the Indian market, hence, our purpose is to ensure that health screening services are easily available in the country,” Teiichi Goto, president and CEO, representative director of Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, said at the opening of NURA health screening centre in Gurugram.
Goto also said the firm aims to “collaborate with different companies” to ensure that the “critical aspect of preventive and regular health check-up is not ignored by the young working class of the country”.