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Artificial Intelligence Update in Medical Imaging

June 22, 2023 0 Comments

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the healthcare sector, with medical imaging being one of the areas experiencing significant advancements.

From diagnosing strokes to analysing radiographs, AI is increasingly becoming an integral part of healthcare delivery. However, as with any technological innovation, it comes with its own set of challenges and potential risks.

We wanted to explore the current applications of AI in medical imaging, the potential risks, and the regulatory challenges that need to be addressed.

AI Applications in Medical Imaging

AI’s application in medical imaging is broad and continually expanding. One notable example is the work of EMVision, a Sydney-based medical device start-up. EMVision is leveraging AI to develop a portable device for diagnosing stroke without the need for an MRI. The device, set to be launched in 2025, will use a “traffic light” system based on a probability algorithm to help determine what type of stroke might have occurred. This innovation is a testament to how AI can enhance healthcare delivery by making critical diagnostic tools more accessible and efficient.

Radiology is another area where AI is making significant strides. AI is now being used in breast cancer screening and the analysis of chest X-rays. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists reports that a fair percentage of radiologists now use AI in their daily work, a stark contrast to a couple of years ago when almost no radiologist would admit to using it.

Potential Risks and Early Warning Signs

Despite the promising applications of AI in healthcare, it’s crucial to consider the potential risks and early warning signs. Incidents involving health technology assisted by AI have been reported to the United States’ Food and Drug Administration. These incidents include a computer-assisted needle missing its target and puncturing the spine, a diabetic patient’s health rapidly deteriorating after a computer recommended an incorrect insulin dosage, and an ultrasound failing to diagnose an obvious heart condition that was ultimately fatal. These incidents serve as an early warning sign of what could happen if the safety of AI systems isn’t taken seriously in this rapidly evolving field.

Gorilla Jobs Blog Artificial Intelligence Update in Medical Imaging Woman Smelling a Flower In Front Of Robotic Hand
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Regulatory Challenges

As AI technology continues to evolve, so too must the regulatory mechanisms that oversee its use. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists has expressed concern that current regulatory mechanisms may no longer be fit for purpose given the recent breakthroughs in AI technology. There is a pressing need for Australian regulators and clinicians to better understand the risks of fully autonomous systems before implementing them in hospitals, clinics, and homes. As AI continues to take on roles traditionally held by humans, it’s essential to ensure these systems are tested rigorously to ensure patient safety and uphold ethical standards.

To summarize, AI is undeniably transforming the landscape of medical imaging, offering new possibilities for diagnosis and treatment. However, it’s crucial to navigate this new frontier with caution, taking into account the potential risks and regulatory challenges. As we continue to explore the potential of AI in healthcare, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest developments and ensure that safety and efficacy remain at the forefront of these technological advancements. For more information see A new breed of AI is changing healthcare.

Read more about Advances in Ultrasound Technology, Importance of Continuing Education in Radiography & Sonography and Future of Interventional Radiology: Minimally Invasive Procedures.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as a general overview of the topic and should not be construed as professional legal or medical advice.