Artificial Intelligence continues on p. 10
Artificial Intelligence: Helping
Radiologists Improve Patient Care
When people hear the term artificial intelligence (AI), they often imagine a superhuman robot with evil in- tentions roaming the streets of New York City. But
anyone who works in health care services, manufacturing, or a
score of other sophisticated industries knows that there’s nothing scary about this futuristic technology that’s poised to
change and improve our world.
While government resources say there is no single, universally accepted definition of AI, some people refer to it as a computerized system that exhibits behavior that is commonly
thought of as requiring intelligence. Others define AI as a system
capable of rationally solving complex problems or taking appropriate actions to achieve its goals in whatever real-world circumstances it encounters [ 1]. It can also be thought of as a complex
system of algorithms that analyze data [ 2].
In radiology, AI can help identify disease and possibly shift
more mundane tasks from doctors to machines. AI would allow
radiologists to have more time to focus on patient care, interpret
images, and provide clinical consultations to other specialists,
according to a request for information submitted to the White
House Office of Science and Technology Policy by the American
College of Radiology . Regardless of its current use and potential, experts agree that an intelligent computer cannot replace
the doctor at the bedside.
Can artificial intelligence revolutionize the health care industry? Experts weigh in on how
this technology can transform the field of radiology—and beyond.
“We look for ways to make life easier, and AI will be better for
us. But, when I put my car on cruise, my foot is ready to hit the
brake if necessary,” said Greg Freiherr, radiology industry consultant and principal for The Freiherr Group. “I don’t think you’ll
ever see the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take the
human out of the loop.”
What Artificial Intelligence Means to Radiology
and Health Care
Artificial intelligence has the potential to alleviate administrative burden and inappropriate utilization. It could someday increase the precision and efficiency of certain medical services,
including diagnostic imaging .
While scientists and computer professionals have been tinkering with AI since the 1950s, the technology remains in its
embryonic stages. “You have to be patient with this technology—you will see more money invested in it in the future. I think
we’ll see a lot changes in the next 10 to 15 years,” said Keith
Dreyer, an informatics expert and director of the Center for
Clinical Data Science at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dryer expects radiology to drive upgrades and advances in the
technology as radiologists, health care groups, and health care
institutions will continue to be the consumers of AI.
Incremental, favorable changes attributed to novel technology is nothing new to a medical field that’s accustomed to using
the most advanced equipment to diagnose patients. “We already
have machines that help us,” said Charles Kahn, ARRS past president, and vice chairman of radiology at the University of
Center for Clinical Data Science
Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor, Radiology
Harvard Medical School
Professor and Vice Chairman of
University of Pennsylvania
In radiology, artificial intelligence can help
identify disease and possibly shift more
mundane tasks from doctors to machines.
Artificial intelligence would allow radiologists
to have more time to focus on patient
care, interpret images, and provide clinical
consultations to other specialists.