(Modern Healthcare) – Radiologists look at a new image every three to four seconds during an eight-hour workday.
That’s hardly enough time to find the patterns, abnormalities and other markers essential in making a diagnosis.
Hospitals are hoping to lessen that load by outsourcing some of that work-not to people across the ocean, but rather to machines.
These computers, running artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms, are trained to find patterns in images, identify specific anatomical markers. But also go deeper and spot details the human eye can’t catch. Early versions of these algorithms, currently in trials, are both accurate and fast.
Though hospitals are welcoming robotic overlords, radiologists need not worry about their jobs—at least not yet. After all, people are still necessary to read the information the machines produce and make sense of the data.
What’s more, it’s still the early days for artificial intelligence in imaging, and though the technology is promising—potentially lowering costs, improving quality and making providers more efficient and effective—there are significant hurdles to overcome.
“We’ll see our jobs changing slowly,” said Dr. Keith Dryer, vice chairman of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. “If you look 10 or 25 years from now at what a radiologist is doing, it’ll probably be dramatically different.”
Illustration Credit: Rachel Z. Arndt/Modern Healthcare