Instead of viewing AI as something still lingering on the distant horizon, this year’s Disruptive Dozen panel was tasked with assessing which AI innovations will be ready to fundamentally alter the delivery of care by 2020 – now less than a year away.
Augmenting Diagnostics and Decision-making
Artificial intelligence has made especially swift progress in diagnostic specialties, including pathology. AI will continue to speed down the road to maturity in this area, predicts Annette Kim, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology at BWH and Harvard Medical School.
“Pathology is at the center of diagnosis, and diagnosis underpins a huge percentage of all patient care. We’re integrating a huge amount of data that funnels through us to come to a diagnosis. As the number of data points increases, it negatively impacts the time we have to synthesize the information,” she said.
AI can help automate routine, high-volume tasks, prioritize and triage cases to ensure patients are getting speedy access to the right care, and make sure that pathologists don’t miss key information hidden in the enormous volumes of clinical and test data they must comb through every day.
“This is where AI can have a huge impact on practice by allowing us to use our limited time in the most meaningful manner,” Kim stressed.
Reimagining the World of Medical Imaging
Radiology is already one of AI’s early beneficiaries, but providers are just at the beginning of what they will be able to accomplish in the next few years as machine learning explodes into the imaging realm.
AI is predicted to bring earlier detection, more accurate assessment of complex images, and less expensive testing for patients across a huge number of clinical areas.
But as leaders in the AI revolution, radiologists also have a significant responsibility to develop and deploy best practices in terms of trustworthiness, workflow, and data protection.
“We certainly feel the onus on the radiology community to make sure we do deliver and translate this into improved care,” said Alexandra Golby, MD, a neurosurgeon and radiologist at BWH and Harvard Medical School.
“Can radiology live up to the expectations? There are certainly some challenges, including trust and understanding of what the algorithms are delivering. But we desperately need it, and we want to equalize care across the world.”
Radiologists have been among the first to overcome their trepidation about the role of AI in a changing clinical world, and are eagerly embracing the possibilities of this transformative approach to augmenting human skills.”
“All of the imaging societies have opened their doors to the AI adventure,” Golby said. “The community very anxious to learn, co-develop and work with all of the industry partners to turn this technology into truly valuable tools. We’re very optimistic and very excited, and we look forward to learning more about how AI can improve care.”