AUGUSTA ( WJBF) — An artificial intelligence software is helping AU Health and the Georgia Cancer Center better find the polyps that can lead to colon cancer.

“It will show a green box indicating hey look at that area there’s something not normal there,” Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology at AU Health Dr. John Erikson Yap said.

AU Health is the first in the state to offer the technology that gives doctors a ” second set of eyes” and helps to pinpoint polyps that could be missed during a colonoscopy.

“The less we miss the polyps the better for the patient because those are the polyps that could eventually become cancer,” Yap said.

Chief of Gastroenterology, Dr. Kenneth Vega said a typical colonoscopy can miss between five and eight percent of the polyps leading to colon cancer.

“Those people who do not have polyps found initially may have them develop and become larger when they have their next examination,” Vega said.

He said the new AI technology will cut down on missed polyps and increase early detection of colon cancer.

“There is literature that shows that about 15 percent of patients coming in for a screening colonoscopy would have polyps found by this technology that would have been missed otherwise,” Vega said.

Doctors said early detection can be crucial in getting ahead of colon cancer before it’s too late.

“Too late meaning that it might have spread and we cannot do anything surgically or endoscopically. So preventing that from happening and seeing more of these polyps with the help of artificial intelligence is very important,” Yap said.