When it comes to cancer or other life-threatening conditions, accuracy and early detection are key, but traditional imaging equipment is only so accurate. The healthcare industry can harness the power of artificial Intelligence (AI) for medical imaging. Image AI pinpoints tumors and cancerous tissue with greater precision and speed through higher resolution, rendering intricate body parts even more visible. It also helps providers more efficiently track and analyze the data collected and support them in making informed decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment plans.
Here, we’ll explore image AI’s various applications in the industry and its ability to generate faster, more accurate diagnoses for your patients. Read on to learn AI medical imaging is revolutionizing healthcare.
Also read: What is AI and How Can Businesses Use it?
What is image AI?
Image Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI medical imaging, is a type of AI that uses deep learning algorithms that are trained using real medical data (images) to be able to detect tumors and cancerous tissue. Image AI learns anatomical patterns and markers, picks up on deviations from the patterns it has learned, and alerts the radiologist for further investigation. So far, image AI has been used in interpreting images of several human organs and body parts, including brain, breast, heart, head, neck, and lungs. It’s important to stress that image AI serves as an enhancement to, rather than a replacement for, human intelligence of medical doctors.
Cancer screening and detection
AI assists with MRI and CT scans in terms of accuracy and speed. AI medical imaging accelerates accurate medical diagnoses, helps doctors avoid unnecessary—and often risky—invasive procedures, and ultimately increases healthcare provider efficiency.
Image AI for the brain
While traditional imaging is typically only 50-60% accurate, AI-backed technology helps physicians identify tumors more accurately, assessing whether it’s absolutely necessary to undertake a brain tissue biopsy which is a risky procedure to begin with. InformAI’s Brain Cancer Classifier solution, for example, uses AI-enabled image classifiers to aid in detecting various types of brain tumors that show up in MRI, CT, or ultrasound scans. It’s designed with a 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) that is trained on both a 3D MRI image library and a 3D medical image classifier transfer model foundation.
Image AI for breast cancer
Google has AI image tools that can assist doctors with identifying and diagnosing a variety of medical conditions, such as breast cancer. It has developed a proof-of-concept-assistance tool that can conduct deep learning to produce faster, more accurate breast cancer diagnoses using mammogram images.
Koning has also developed a 3D breast imaging device that uses image AI to detect tumors through greater spatial resolution in only 10 seconds and without painful breast compression. Their patented model allows the patient to lie down so the machine can see more of the breast tissue.
Image AI for the head and neck
Radiotherapy is a notoriously long process because it takes time to pinpoint cancerous tissue. To address this issue specifically for head and neck cancer, Google is also partnering with Mayo Clinic to develop a deep learning algorithm that can more quickly distinguish between healthy tissue and tumors in a process called “segmentation” on CT scans. The algorithm helps doctors propose a more accurate treatment plan for patients that can reduce overall treatment time and increase the efficiency of radiotherapy.
Image AI and telehealth
Google now features an AI imaging tool that helps individuals better assess hair, skin, and nail conditions. Users can take a photo of the skin bump or skin marking and, based on the image, get a list of possible conditions it could be.
Google’s AI image tool can pick up on more than 80% of conditions for which individuals receive clinical care. While it’s certainly not a substitute for medical professional advice, this tool is a game changer that empowers people to have access to more information about their health and to see a healthcare provider.
Butterfly Network’s Teleguidance is an integrated ultrasound telemedicine platform that facilitates ultrasounds at a distance when patient and provider connect via Butterfly’s iQ mobile app.
Image AI’s use for telehealth helps direct and funnel more patients to your facility or clinic, especially if it can integrate with Google maps’ geolocation tool to generate a list of suggested healthcare providers located nearby. AI medical imaging can facilitate quicker, more efficient telehealth appointments to assess whether an in-person visit to the provider is necessary.
Cost and implementation of AI medical imaging at your clinic
The available solutions range from entirely new medical equipment to platforms to software tools, and will therefore require varying degrees of upfront investment.
To highlight a few here that could be relatively easy to implement, Curie software by Enlitic integrates with your clinical equipment to interpret x-ray, CT, or MRI scans in 15 milliseconds.
For ultrasounds, Butterfly Network’s Butterfly iQ is a cost-efficient portable ultrasound device that hooks up to Apple iOS and Android devices to help medical providers make more informed decisions about patient care without the time and expense of an extra ultrasound appointment.
Why your facility should implement AI imaging
AI Imaging is positively changing the way doctors treat patients, serving as an enhancement to radiologists’ own human intelligence. Your clinic or facility should consider using AI imaging to reduce time and costs for both provider and patient.
Medical AI imaging assists medical professionals in quickly and accurately diagnosing a patient, which means more efficient and effective treatment plans and reduced likelihood of dangerous and costly malpractice.
Medical AI imaging also assists providers by automating common tasks and making data easily accessible and transferable between providers. AI imaging also empowers patients to get more information about a potential condition right from their own home before consulting further with a doctor.
Image AI for healthcare is not a replacement for doctors but supports them in providing the best possible care.