The Future Arrived Yesterday

Matthew J. Kuhn, MD, FACR


Appl Radiol. 2019;48(4):30-31. 

In This Article

True AI Is Playing in Peoria

The fact is that true AI tools are already available and deliverable to perform far more useful and exciting tasks. Every day at our clinic in Peoria, IL, my colleagues and I stand at our workstations and let the Change Detector MRI AI software (AIAnalysis, Inc., Seattle, WA) locate, compare, and report changes in multiple sclerosis plaque load; measure changes in enhancement; measure true brain tumor volumes; and detect strokes.[1] A report automatically names the pulse sequences and the date of current and comparison studies, which the software also locates automatically. Advanced statistical comparisons, volume calculations and other novel diagnostic information are already contained in the report.

We radiologists can immediately electronically inform the referring provider of all details contained in the report through recorded voice clips or HIPAA-compliant texts that also contain our treatment and follow-up recommendations. We can communicate in similar ways with patients, who can also pay their bills by text.

Using FDA-approved AI software from Heartflow (Redwood City, CA), we can create color flow maps of cardiac wall perfusion and calculate fractional flow reserve from CT images, thereby providing more useful information to our cardiologist colleagues.[2] Our FDA-approved perfusion CT software "iRAPID" (iSchemaview, Menlo Park, CA)[3] is vital to acute stroke team workups.

And we're not the only ones currently using advanced AI tools.

To wit, Johns Hopkins Hospital radiologists detect pancreatic neoplasms earlier and with greater accuracy[4] using artificial intelligence. AI software is detecting intracranial hemorrhage and moving these positive cases to the top of the worklist for earlier detection.[5,6] Outpatient clinics in New York and New England are beginning to use AI to accurately triage chest radiographs[7] so that patients can leave the health center without worrying that the radiologist will change the preliminary report. Best-practice recommendations are automatically entered, communicated and applied.

Our own use of structured reporting has become more standardized and will assist with communicating our diagnostic information to referring physicians.[8] Highly accurate and efficient bone-age calculations using AI are currently offered without charge on the EnvoyAI (Durham, NC) platform.[9] Lower dose usage of gadolinium contrast material is a reality and can reduce gadolinium retention and NSF.[10] Genetic mutations in a brain tumor can now be determined using AI.[11] Ezra software (Folsom, CA) assists in active surveillance of prostate cancer.[12]