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Australia helps Vietnam transform breast cancer diagnoses

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HCMC – The Australian Government’s Aus4Innovation program is supporting the VIETRAD initiative to help Vietnam improve breast cancer diagnostic efficacy and patient prognosis, leading to higher survival rates for Vietnamese women.

The initiative, which has been developed through a partnership between the University of Sydney and the Health Strategy and Policy Institute, introduces a novel image approach that will transform the performance of radiologists while reading mammograms.

VIETRAD is the first ever intelligent system in Vietnam using machine learning to test, monitor and improve the radiologic diagnosis of breast cancer. The platform is tailored for Vietnamese technicians, and it is expected that the accuracy rate of diagnostics will increase to as high as 85%.

The project will have a major impact on improving early breast cancer detection among Vietnamese women while establishing Vietnam as the Southeast Asian hub of breast cancer imaging research and innovation. In the long term, the VIETRAD platform can be developed for any type of radiologic domain, pathology and oncology.

According to the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, breast cancer is the most common cancer among Vietnamese women, with over 10,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Many patients are in the late stages, making treatment more difficult and leading to a low survival rate.

Early cancer detection depends on the accurate interpretation of breast images by radiologists. However, Vietnam still has low accuracy rates of below 50% when detecting abnormalities in mammograms.

The VIETRAD platform is expected to be implemented in hospitals in major cities such as HCMC, Hanoi, Hue and Danang late this year. Technical guidelines will be developed later for radiologists across the country.

The Aus4Innovation is a flagship AUD11 million partnership program designed to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. The four-year program provides funds to scale already tested activities to address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam’s innovation system.

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