From the November 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
AI proves worth as second reader for mammograms
Based on its ability to detect cancer, artificial intelligence may serve as a sufficient second reader for mammograms and reduce the workload on radiologists.
That’s what researchers in Norway said in an April study comparing the technology’s performance to routine independent double reading in a population-based screening program.
The largest of its kind, the study assessed the use of AI in reading almost 123,000 exams performed on over 47,000 women from four facilities in BreastScreen Norway, the country’s population-based screening programs. Such programs conduct so many mammograms that produce significant workloads for radiologists and can lead to backlogs and longer waiting times for patients. And while AI has shown encouraging results in identifying cancer, its use in real screening settings is limited.
Using a commercially available AI system, the researchers were able to identify and eliminate a high percentage of benign exams from their workload, as well as find the majority of screen-detected cancers. Less than 20% of screen-detected cancers were not identified.
"Based on our results, we expect AI to be of great value in the interpretation of screening mammograms in the future. We expect the greatest potential to be in reducing the reading volume by selecting negative examinations,” said Solveig Hofvind, from the Section for Breast Cancer Screening, Cancer Registry of Norway in Oslo, who led the study.
The findings were published in Radiology.