In Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, an investigation is continuing on artificial intelligence (AI) in assisting radiologists with the review of mammograms. Mammograms refers to low-level X-rays, which are used in breast cancer screenings to detect very tiny changes to visualize or feel. The trial has successfully proven that identifying early-stage breast cancer is possible for those who will now undergo surgery.
The number of radiologists available to review mammogram results is decreasing daily. Despite all these things, an increasing number of women are attending routine breast screenings. AI allows computers to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. Across various industries all over the globe, AI technology has been used massively. In healthcare, AI is seen as a powerful tool for enhancing the speed of drug and disease discovery.
In Scotland, the number of screens that have detected cancer disease that belongs to the breast is increasing, leading to a greater workload for radiologists. The NHS Grampian’s Gemini project collaborates with the NHS, the University of Aberdeen, and private industry. This collaboration is taking the help of an AI model termed Mia. Kheiron Medical Technologies develop Mia with support from Microsoft’s cloud computing services. Due to current rules set by the National Screening Council, AI cannot get automatically deployed in screenings. Therefore, the AI model is being trialled as an additional check at the end of mammogram scan reviews.
The radiologists can utilise AI software to identify differences between two mammogram scans that focus on areas of concern. This additional tool detects abnormalities at an early stage. Participants in the trial have expressed that the regular usage of AI made the process less intrusive as compared to the reviews that humans scan.
Scotland’s breast screening program has undergone various challenges because of the staff shortage, with many radiology staff nearing retirement age. The potential of AI to cover a portion of the screening image reading burden has been highlighted. Still, the evaluation aims to determine the best way to integrate AI into the workflow. It also performs the role of replacing a radiologist, assisting in reading mammograms or improving cancer detection as a safety net.
The successful trial of the Aberdeen has led to plans for more than 30 NHS trusts across the UK to utilise this AI technology. Millions of patients are benefitted from this. In England, people are exploring the technology by questioning how AI can support better and faster outcomes for breast cancer patients.
AI plays a significant role in healthcare, helping doctors save lives by improving efficiency and accuracy in diagnosis and treatment.