Is AI Going to Replace Radiologists Any Time Soon?

The application of Artificial Intelligence has been progressing rapidly in the field of medicine, especially in radiology. It has been a source of high innovation, yet a popular topic of discussion in radiology and its ground-breaking research. Despite the quality assurance and risk issues of AI, it delivers tremendous opportunities to change the way radiological services are offered. It is quite conceivable that Artificial Intelligence can become a hard-working, reliable friend to radiologists, apart from being a useful tool for training future radiologists.

An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence in Radiology

Artificial Intelligence is defined as a computer system that can perform certain tasks that require human intelligence, such as speech recognition, visual perception, language translation, decision making, etc. Simply put, it is a computer program that is designed to learn and think like human beings. In the field of radiology, Artificial Intelligence refers to advanced systems of deep learning.

Algorithms of AI, especially those in deep learning, are successful in recognizing images. It can automatically recognize complex patterns applicable for imaging data, and accordingly, provide a quantitative assessment of the image characteristics. As a result, they closely mimic the way the human brain works. Since AI uses programming languages like R and Python, it may be expected that such programming languages will become a part of radiology education and training in the near future.

Evolution of AI in Radiology

Radiology is a specialization in the medical field that is largely related to technology and is dependent on machines to a great extent. As a result, it has gradually evolved as compared to other medical specialty areas. Simultaneously, the field of IT has also tremendously evolved during the last few decades. Along with this, AI has also seen rapid progression in the innovative field of radiology.

Without a doubt, AI seems to have a really bright future as a game-changer in the healthcare industry. However, this overwhelming development in the field of technology has not arrived without an element of fear that has created anxiety within radiological societies across the globe. Radiologists around the world are susceptible to whether Artificial Intelligence will replace trained professionals in the future.

Future Predictions

At present, it is not easy to predict whether Artificial Intelligence will ultimately replace human performance, or where the use of AI is heading in radiology in the future. However, some AI experts have predicted that there are chances that AI may outperform humans in certain activities. Whether AI is a friend or foe to a radiologist is also similarly difficult to predict. As yet, AI needs a systematic and thorough evaluation before it can be integrated into general health and clinical care.

Innovations in the field of technology is evolving constantly, and each innovation brings apprehension of humans with it. No doubt, the introduction of AI in everyday medical practice can be accompanied by errors like low accuracy, misdiagnosis, low specificity, and over-diagnosis. Apart from that, machine learning can also be helpful in assisting decision making in the medical field and improving heart risk prediction.

At present, radiologists may feel that AI is like a threat to their specialty and they may fear the loss of their jobs in the future. No doubt, there may be a shortfall in the number of jobs, particularly in the private sector of health services, ranging from receptionists and healthcare assistants to high-level managers and radiologists. However, it is a fact that medicine is an extremely complex, multi-faceted, field that always requires human touch and intelligence.

Identifying the Strengths and Weaknesses of AI

Simply put, Artificial Intelligence cannot surpass human intelligence and it has its own limitations. There are only a limited number of areas where it may match the level of the human brain. The optimal structure of AI and the number of cases required for training models are different from one task to the other, and this remains a constant challenge. Apart from that, the use of Artificial Intelligence raises privacy concerns among the patients as well, particularly those who want to keep their diseases confidential.

Till date, AI has seen an introduction in almost every sector of the economy, inclusive of healthcare. It has proved to be a revolutionary innovation to transform radiology and its results. Adding to that, it seems to be inevitable that AI will be used in the diagnostic mode of radiology only, as it may be applied in radiological investigations as well. On top of that, AI too requires clinical trials, quality assurance checks, and robust data for maximum benefits.

Across the globe, radiologists have started understanding the importance of Artificial Intelligence and its implementation in their field, and they are adjusting themselves with AI in their daily practice. Despite its risks and issues, AI seems to have a promising future in the healthcare industry, and radiological services are expected to witness tremendous changes in the near future. When radiologists will have AI by their side, they will be able to focus more on complex tasks, patient care and job satisfaction.

We, at Sepstream, understand that Artificial Intelligence has the potential to become a promising helpful tool for triaging and diagnosis in radiology. It seems to be a hard-working and reliable friend for radiologists, despite anxiety about AI implementation in the field of radiology practice. By offering high-end diagnostic tools and technologies, we thrive to make our clients happy and satisfied in all aspects.