Artificial intelligence and the work of the radiologist

The first of September took place on September 21 CBR Studio, a program that aims to discuss important topics for the radiological community. Live streaming allows peer participation through Workplace. The first topic to be discussed was artificial intelligence: a very topical subject that has brought some anxiety to radiologists about the future of the specialty.

Dr. Manoel Rocha, president of the Brazilian College of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging (CBR), and Dr. Rogério Caldana, director of the entity, received fellow radiologists Dr. Thiago Júlio and Dr. Marcelo Felix, who, in addition to Radiology , are dedicated to the area of information technology.

There were several subjects on artificial intelligence, beginning with its current meaning: a mimicry of an aspect of human intelligence capable of understanding and resolving a given situation. It can be classified as weak when it solves a specific problem, and, on the other hand, translates as strong when algorithms and machines can, in addition to solving a specific problem, interact with a new challenge. Increasingly, the goal is an approximation of human intelligence, where one tries to mimic the neurocortical layer of the brain. This has evolved because we have more and more data for the power of computers, because today we are digital. In addition, computing power has been increased through video cards, processing more and more images.

Nowadays, we already use a lot of artificial intelligence, but long before we talk about its function, interpreting images, we must discuss its initial impacts: the first one is to bring to the discussion what are its implications, especially in relation to medical work. There will undoubtedly have an impact on educational and research institutions, as academic radiology groups are eager to research on the topic. Similarly, there will be impacts on industry such as PACS production, and software in pursuit of greater efficiency and productivity.

The radiologist, being known to other areas of medicine as incorporator of new technologies, has been seen as the first victim of this type of intelligence. This needs to be demystified as other medical specialists are already losing certain functions, such as those specialties that already work with treatment protocols through software.

Firstly, we must demand from this intelligence the support for the diagnostic decision, since we currently have more instruments available to increase the number of diagnostic data, including in other areas, such as information on pathological and laboratory tests in the medical record. Work routines can also be optimized through worklist, aid in billing and greater gloss control.

Concern about the ability to interpret images, replacing the work of the radiologist, should be demystified, because making a medical diagnosis is extremely serious. Given this, the Food and Drug Administration, a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, warns industries that if they want to get into radiological diagnosis, they must do so through a Class III study with a huge database, which requires huge complexity and investment, which is why they have not yet dared to risk it.

The artificial intelligence in everyday radiology will use automation, finding the radiological finding quickly, attaching scientific articles and at the same time making analogies with two or more similar cases to our database. Thus, the medical diagnosis will be made faster and more correctly, improving the effectiveness of our work.

It is also important to remember that there is no way to impute responsibility to the machine. The signature of the report will always be ours. Anyway, the future turns, but in our area specifically, the interpretation of the image is unresolved and will be very difficult to solve.

Those who say our work is bound to end is because they do not understand the complexity of radiological reasoning. Perhaps, with artificial intelligence, the radiologist will be moved to a nobler area of care, translated by humanization, welcoming and patient care. Technology, which in some way motivated our patient's detachment, will bring our rapprochement through artificial intelligence.

The world is changing, we are evolving and we need to get ready. The radiologist will have to reinvent himself. In this context, the role of CBR is highlighted, so that, through information, the colleague radiologist can have a critical view of new artificial intelligence products launched by the industry. The radiologist of the future, who knows how to work with artificial intelligence, using it as a precious tool, will surely be consolidated in the job market.

CBR Professional Defense Director

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Written by

Thiago Braga

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