AI Detects Lung Cancer Before Radiologists

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 09:47

Researchers of Northwestern University in Illinois and Google have discovered that Artificial Intelligence is better than specialist doctors at diagnosing lung cancer.

According to the Medical News Today, researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois and Google developed a technology that could boost the effectiveness of cancer screening.

The team used artificial intelligence to see if the analysis of scans could be improved and said AI would have a "huge" role in the future of medicine, but the current software is not yet ready for clinical use.

The first step was to train the computer software with 42,290 CT lung scans from nearly 15,000 patients. The researchers did not tell the AI what to look for, just which patients went on to get cancer and which did not.

The AI was then tested against a team of six radiologists who made a career out of analysing CT scans. It was more effective than the radiologists when examining a single CT scan and was equally effective when doctors had multiple scans to go on.

The results, in Nature Medicine, showed the AI could boost cancer detection by 5% while also cutting false-positives (people falsely diagnosed with cancer) by 11%.

Dr. Mozziyar Etemadi, from Northwestern University, stated that "The next step is to use it on patients in the form of a clinical trial." He added what the AI is using to identify a cancer is a "little bit of a black box".

Dr. Etemadi noted that AI and doctors working side by side would be even more effective and that AI had a "huge" role to play in medicine.

Rebecca Campbell, from Cancer Research UK, said that "The next steps will be to test this technology further to see whether it can be applied accurately to large numbers of people."

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