Artificial Intelligence in the Medical Field

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the buzz surrounding artificial intelligence. AI has been turning heads in just about every industry, and in the medical field especially, it’s opening up new possibilities.

The use of AI in healthcare has been steadily increasing, especially in the past five to 10 years. In fact, it was in 2018 that the FDA approved the first AI diagnostic tool. The technology is currently used in a variety of ways, including patient communication, administrative tasks, and surgery simulation.

A study out of the United Kingdom that recently published in the medical journal Radiology found that the diagnostic performance of an AI algorithm used to screen mammograms was comparable to the average “human reader.” 

The researchers explained that oftentimes, mammograms are reviewed by two screeners to improve accuracy. It’s easy to see how the necessity of two screeners would be labor intensive to begin with, and widespread healthcare worker shortages would further aggravate the workflow. As a result, the use of AI as a screening tool has emerged as a way to ease the workload. 

Of course, more extensive studies of long-term results would be needed, and concerns over accuracy and privacy would need to be sorted out. Still, it’s comforting to know that AI could help alleviate concerns of workforce shortages in the medical field.

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