MRI machines, X-ray machines, and CT machines allow doctors to see the organs, bones, and tissues in your body. Yet, one of the biggest challenges that faces the medical community today is the rapid accumulation of data – and the time-consuming task of sifting through, documenting, analyzing, and evaluating all the available data gleaned from medical examinations and procedures.
What’s particularly challenging for physicians is having to pick out what’s relevant according to the patient’s concern in a timely manner. There is the risk of missing valuable information which can affect patient care.
Artificial intelligence (AI), once it becomes more widely used, can change the landscape of medical imaging. Let’s examine some of the ways in which AI can help revolutionize the field of medical imaging.
Smart and Efficient Support for Physicians
Artificial intelligence will never take the place of diagnosticians – rather, what it can do is support and assist them by aggregating data of a patient. AI tools and machines can analyze large swaths of a patient’s medical data, extrapolate insights, and provide this analysis to physicians.
For example, if a patient comes in complaining of chest pain, a radiologist may then send a request for the patient’s CT scan. What AI would then do is scan the data, include the patient’s health history, and assess their available records, such as:
- Prior examinations (imaging or non-imaging) of a cardiac nature
- Cardiac medication prescription history based on pharmacy records
- Prior surgeries
- Previous laboratory or pathology results
Next, AI will present to the doctor the relevant findings in greater detail and in an easily digestible format. What would normally take the doctor a lot of time could be done in just minutes.
This positively affects the quality of care the patient receives. It also frees up the doctor to see more patients, thereby improving the quality of care the medical community provides and the patients receive.
Helping Improve Precision Medicine
In 2016, researchers at Stanford University found that a machine-learning tool was able to accurately differentiate between two types of lung cancers – a task that is particularly challenging to pathologists. Another challenge is in staging cancers, as even highly experienced pathologists will disagree on 40 percent of the time.
AI takes subjectivity out of the equation, as machine-learning tools can identify more characteristics than what a physician can usually observe. With precision medicine, doctors can provide more personalized treatment – and researchers can discover new ways of treating disease.
Carrying Out Retrospective Screening
AI tools are also a promising prospect in retrospective screening. In other words, they can be “trained” (programmed) to scan all of a patient’s previous imaging records and uncover medical conditions patients may not know they have.
For example, an AI review of all previous CT scans can reveal that a patient may actually have lung cancer. An AI scan of previous medical records that includes genomic results can reveal a patient’s genetic predisposition to developing certain cancers and health conditions.
Medical Imaging Center in Palm Beach
Artificial intelligence has the ability to augment the field of radiology through the rapid scanning and analysis of accumulated patient data. This can help reduce medical errors in hospitals and centers.
With AI tools, radiologists may treat a medical imaging result as just one source of data that aids in having a full understanding of a patient’s condition.
At Independent Imaging, we stay on top of advances in the field of radiology. If you have any questions about our imaging services, feel free to give us a call at (561) 795-5558 or request an appointment online. We are honored to serve you.