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The team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers is monitoring trends, with regard to potential AI applications to help patients

The term artificial intelligence, or AI, is heard more and more with constant advances in its technology. It’s found in mapping systems to determine the most efficient way to get somewhere, and in finding recommendations on where to go to lunch. In healthcare, the team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers is monitoring these trends, with regard to potential AI applications that can help patients.

An interesting new study published in Radiology provides details on how the technology was tested to see how it could improve breast cancer detection with screening mammography programs. The study, while preliminary, and in need of additional research, was promising in demonstrating how the technology may soon assist in finding cancer.

AI in Breast Cancer Screening Study Outline
For the study, approximately 122,000 screening examinations from 47,877 women were performed at four screening units in Norway from October 2009 to December 2018. The data set included 752 screen-detected cancers (6.1 per 1000 examinations) and 205 interval cancers (1.7 per 1000 examinations). Each examination had an AI score between 1 and 10, where 1 indicated low risk of breast cancer and 10 indicated high risk.

The researchers created three thresholds to assess performance of AI as a decision-making tool. Threshold 1, threshold 2, and threshold 3 were used to assess the performance of the AI system as a binary decision tool (selected versus not selected). Threshold 1 was set at an AI score of 10, threshold 2 was set to yield a selection rate similar to the consensus rate (8.8%), and threshold 3 was set to yield a selection rate similar to an average individual radiologist (5.8%). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize screening outcomes. Using a threshold that mirrors the average individual radiologist rate of positive interpretation, the proportion of screen-detected cancers not selected by the AI system was less than 20%.

While the AI system was considered to have performed well, reliance on retrospective data means that more research is needed and will be conducted. For now, the hope among researchers is that AI technology can help improve testing efficiencies, given how many are conducted.

How Else is Artificial Intelligence Used in Healthcare?
As noted at the beginning of this story, AI is currently used in ways such as mapping, which already helps patients get to the right address for appointments, and as quick and safely as possible. The technology is being used in other ways in healthcare, including some of the possible following applications:

  • Medical Imaging: AI algorithms can analyze medical images like X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans to detect abnormalities and diagnose diseases.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs): AI can help healthcare providers to mine electronic health records to identify patterns and make predictions. This can help in disease surveillance, identifying high-risk patients, and tracking disease outbreaks.
  • Drug Discovery and Development: AI can assist in drug discovery and development by analyzing large data sets to identify potential drug targets and predict the success of new drugs in clinical trials.
  • Personalized Medicine: AI can help to personalize treatment plans by analyzing patient data, such as genetic information and medical history, to predict which treatment options will work best for each patient.
  • Virtual Health Assistants: AI-powered virtual health assistants can be used to provide patients with personalized medical advice, reminders for medication, and lifestyle recommendations.
  • Medical Robotics: AI-powered robots can be used in surgical procedures to increase precision and reduce the risk of complications.

Overall, AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by improving the quality of care and reducing costs. The team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers is constantly evaluating ways to safely and securely apply these new technologies to best serve the needs of its patients.

Get Screened for Breast Cancer Regularly
While AI improvements to breast cancer screening may be on the way, there are currently effective ways to screen and Comprehensive urges everyone to follow guidelines in place to get screened. This includes self-screening, annual mammograms (per doctor recommendations), along with annual physicals such as breast exams to detect potential instances of breast cancer, and other illnesses.

It’s important to note that if you have any concerns about breast cancer, you should consult with your physician. If they see any risks, be sure to have them recommend you to a physician at Comprehensive Cancer Centers for additional testing, and if necessary, a treatment plan customized to your needs.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for cancer, serious blood disorders, breast health conditions, pulmonary and sleep disease. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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