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Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is exploring whether AI can assist radiologists in reviewing thousands of mammograms a year.
Mammograms are X-rays used in breast cancer screenings to monitor and detect changes too small to see or feel, which saved people’s lives all over the world through detection and prevention.
Dr Gerald Lip, clinical director of the Northeast Scotland Breast Screening Programme stated that radiologists review thousands of mammograms each year, and with such a number there is a chance that even experts could miss vital information.
Artificial Intelligence can speed up disease discovery, and many scientists and doctors already see it as a powerful, important tool. It is already widely used across a range of industries, and its practical realities are already being shown in healthcare.
This is where NHS Grampian’s Gemini project comes in – according to the BBC, it is a collaboration between the NHS, the University of Aberdeen and private industry. Kheiron Medical Technologies developed the AI model Mia, used in the trial, with Microsoft providing cloud computing services to support it.
The National Screening Counsel has set rules that currently forbid the automatic deployment of AI in screenings, so Dr. Lip and other radiologists are trialing the model as an additional check at the end of mammogram scan reviews.
By clicking a button, radiologists can view and check differences identified by the AI between the two scans.
“In screening you want to pick up things when they are small before they become big,” said Dr Lip. “I think the goal of this evaluation is to see what’s the best way we can work with AI, whether it’s replacing one of the radiologists, whether it’s part reading some of the normal mammograms, or whether it’s to improve our cancer detection as a safety net,” he added.
It seems that despite the growing fear of AI and its implications for the future, the tech is also being used to function with and alongside healthcare professionals and save lives. Scientists and doctors all over the world are exploring how AI can support the healthcare system and provide better, faster results.