Benefits of AI in Medical Imaging

Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging: A Game Changer

The very mention of AI or Artificial Intelligence in healthcare makes most of us picture a humanoid doctor treating us. So, how close are we to this scenario? Well, it seems we are almost there. 

Journey of AI in Medical Roadways: So far, So good!

Since starting from the very first AI project, the Dendral System in the 1960s to MYCIN in the 1970s, AI has never taken a back seat in the world of medical sciences. 

Today, in the 21st century, the epoch of all sorts of headways, you can find numerous research materials, applications, and even start-up companies involving AI in the healthcare sector. Medical imaging is one of the most promising domains in this context.

Decipher Volumes of Data like 1, 2, and 3 with AI

Images from various diagnostic equipment, including X-rays, CT-Scanners, and MRI apparatuses, are likely to comprise large amounts of heterogeneous data. The data load is such that it might be challenging for human technicians to evaluate all of that and deduce accurate outcomes. This is where DL algorithms come in.

DL or Deep Learning (a Machine Learning System) algorithms perform the following vital functions:

  • Select and derive various peculiarities of the images
  • Recognize and order different disease patterns from those images
  • Assist human imaging technicians in working out suitable treatment plans with other healthcare professionals involved in the case

Benefits of AI in Medical Imaging

Besides converting trillions of pixels into word format, AI is all set to transform the manner in which the healthcare industry operates. Here are some interesting aspects:

  • Increased Accessibility to Healthcare

Even now, many places in the world lack access to essential healthcare services. AI can reach those places where humans cannot. Soon, anyone with a smartphone can access medical care with ease. 

Ai offers a distinct advantage especially to people in developing countries and those working in remote locations. 

  • Improved Productivity and Workflow

According to an assessment, in the United Kingdom alone, at a given time, over 300,000 images, including X-rays and other radiographs, usually remain pending waiting to be analyzed by radio technicians. Sometimes waiting period is more than 30 days! Incorporating AI will help minimize delays in finding and working on these image screenings. 

As per GE Healthcare, more than 90% of data (healthcare) is from medical imaging. Ironically, over 97% of these images are unanalyzed or pending analysis. AI would not only speed up the process but make it zero- error efficient and robust. 

  • Increased Accuracy

Another benefit of leveraging AI has increased accuracy in terms of diagnosing various health conditions. Did you know that breast cancer makes the second-most prevalent cancer in women?  However, traditional mammograms fail to identify 1 in 5 cases. 

As per the American Journal of Surgical Pathology’s paper, LYNA, the AI-powered Lymph Node Assistant from Google can identify metastasis of breast cancer with 99% precision! On the contrary, human lab technicians miss this malignancy spread by 62%. So, you can see the difference for yourself!

  • Increased Prioritization

By incorporating AI algorithms into medical imaging, lab technicians can address time-sensitive cases requiring urgent medical assistance, for example, a stroke.

In the USA alone, over 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year! With AI, doctors and other healthcare professionals can identify such urgent cases and continue with the rest of the medical procedure to ensure timely and effective treatment. It helps doctors and healthcare professionals prioritize and enhance the workflow.

  • Increased Focus on more Imperative Tasks

One of the prime advantages of AI in healthcare is that it addresses repetitive, monotonous yet critical tasks while enabling doctors to channel their focus on their core competencies.

AI in healthcare is the way forward. With the numerous advantages it offers, it will not be long before every medical imaging device will be linked to the cloud-driven by AI algorithms that interpret data effectively and efficiently. AI will soon be an indispensable part of assisting healthcare providers in diagnosis and treatment. 

Conclusion

It is clear that artificial intelligence is a game-changer in the world of medical imaging. However, this does not mean that AI will replace human healthcare professional and doctors. One must understand that the underlying purpose of incorporating AI in medical imaging is to allow human technicians more room to direct their energies and experience to improve diagnostic outcomes so as to benefit patients at large.