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AI's Transformative Role in Radiology

By: Heather Bertils | Updated on July 11, 2024

AI's Transformative Role in Radiology

As its technology advances, artificial intelligence continues to integrate throughout health and patient care. This is especially true when concerning Radiology. According to a publication by Johns Hopkins, AI in radiology utilizes algorithms to analyze large quantities of data and medical imaging efficiently. With this technology's assistance, radiologists can improve diagnosis, recognize abnormalities and better triage cases.

The first cases of AI use in radiology were first seen in the early 90s with the introduction of computer-aided detection. Still, it wasn’t until the mid-2010s that its true potential for solving problems began to be utilized. The global AI in medical imaging market was valued at $2.80 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $29.28 billion by 2029. Because of AI’s growing implementation in primary medical imaging specialties worldwide, the market is experiencing exponential growth and awareness.

The benefits of AI in radiology go beyond faster diagnosis. Enhanced images and quick-available reports, scans and x-rays greatly help ease radiologists' workloads while providing higher accuracy and sensitivity. A report completed by Harvard Medical School shares how, more than merely finding and presenting abnormalities in images, AI reports can “convey complex diagnostic information, detailed descriptions, nuanced findings, and appropriate degrees of uncertainty.” This can be seen in an image interpretation process known as segmentation. When done manually, the process is time-consuming as radiologists individually divide images representing normal and abnormal tissue. However, an AI system can scan and measure abnormality volume in substantially less time.

With all its advantages, it's important to emphasize that AI technology is not used as a replacement but rather as a tool to aid radiologists with accurate, in-depth results while easing their pressures. Many healthcare professionals support the integration of AI in their practices, with a reported 75% of 487 interviewed physicians from 54 countries favoring AI expansion as a diagnostic tool to improve workflow efficiency and quality. A report published by the Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology stated that:

“While AI is undoubtedly a powerful tool, it cannot replace the invaluable expertise and experience that human radiologists bring to the table. Radiologists possess an intrinsic understanding of the human body, and their ability to interpret medical images and make sound clinical decisions remains crucial in radiology. Instead of viewing AI as a competitor, it should be seen as a valuable assistant that can augment the capabilities of radiologists and help them excel in their roles.”

By utilizing the latest advantages in AI technology, radiology and healthcare as a whole can grow to serve more patients worldwide and aid in their diagnosis and treatment.

About the author

Heather Bertils

Vice President, Radiology

Heather Bertils joined LocumTenens.com in January of 2006 as an account executive in sales and brings to the company a 20-year career in the healthcare industry. In November 2008, Heather was promoted to managing director of sales for the Anesthesia division. Her responsibilities include planning, development and implementation of marketing, sales and business development strategies for the division. In May of 2012, Heather was promoted to vice president of the Anesthesia division and in 2020 became senior vice president. Heather has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Shorter University. She is a native of Georgia and enjoys playing tennis, traveling and spending time with her husband and son.