How AI is Making an Impact on Radiology and Imaging

The fields of science and medicine are always progressing. This progression intends to help both patients and providers.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming common as a way to diagnose patients. It provides a more efficient way to collect and store information. The software can even analyze imaging to a high level of accuracy. This helps providers catch a problem that they may have missed before.

AI is a field that is advancing quickly. What progress have we seen in the past couple of years? What programs have we begun to put in place?

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to highly advanced computers or computer-controlled robots. These computers are capable of performing incredibly complex tasks. Before, we thought these tasks could only be done by intelligent beings.

AI in imaging

These computers are often associated with human characteristics. They seem to be able to reason and learn from past experiences.

How Is Artificial Intelligence Used For Diagnostic Imaging & Radiation?

Using AI in radiology and imaging has been gaining traction in the medical world. We use it largely to store and analyze data, helping physicians to make a prognosis. AI can store and analyze all a patient’s records. It can then make a diagnosis based on those records. The analysis is often far more accurate than what a human counterpart can do.

The use of AI is also helpful because of its storage capability. AI can have large imaging biobanks to hold more images than standard computers.

It also makes the lives of physicians easier by filtering patients by need. It can recommend appropriate diagnostic imaging based on the patient’s current records. It can also sort patients by priority in the case of an emergency.

What Advancements Have Been Made?

AI means to eliminate problems associated with human limitations. Traditional imaging takes a team of technicians. They must take the imaging as well as interpret it. This can be time-consuming. Plus, AI is able to analyze images with far greater accuracy than the human eye.

Radiomics

Radiomics is a tool that performs a deep analysis of tumors down to the molecular level. AI can perform radiomics with far better accuracy than the human eye or brain.

AI can analyze a specific region and extract over 400 elements. It then takes these features and correlates them with other data to form a diagnosis. The AI can analyze features from radiographs, CT, MRI, or PET studies.

Rapid Brain-Imaging AI Software

Hyperfine is the manufacturer of portable MRI machines. They are now creating these machines with new AI intelligence software. They believe that this new software will be able to perform brain scans in under 3 minutes.

AI-Generated Drugs

In 2020, an AI-created drug went to human clinical trials. The drug intends to treat OCD, and was designed entirely by AI. Exscientia is the manufacturer of the drug. They say that it normally takes about 4.5 years to get a new drug to this stage of testing. With AI generation, the drug got to the human clinical trial stage in under 12 months.

Making A Diagnosis

We stated earlier that AI is being used as a way to more efficiently diagnose patients. Still, relying entirely on AI to do this can complicate things and may be unwise.

So, the researchers of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab worked to combat this. They created a machine learning system that analyzes the data and decides whether to diagnose.

If it “feels” it’s unable to make an accurate prediction, it will defer to a medical professional. It even considers whether to defer to an expert based on who in the medical team is available. It will consider each team member’s availability, level of experience, and specialty.

Conclusion  

AI in diagnostic imaging shows promise to truly advance quality of care for patients. We are excited to see more advancements in this arena. In the meantime, we don’t believe any machine can currently replace a trained human eye when it comes to interpretations. At Vesta, we provide US Board Certified radiologists who work to provide accurate preliminary and final interpretations. Learn how we can support your radiology department– contact us today. 

How Diagnostic Imaging Centers Can Benefit from Teleradiology

It’s safe to say that every medical professional wants the best care and treatment for their patients. From the time a patient steps foot into a medical facility to the time he or she leaves, accuracy and timeliness are key factors in their treatment plans. But what if those two things weren’t available right away? At a diagnostic imaging center, patients put their trust into the qualified and knowledgeable team that captures and interprets the images of their bodies. With current technologies, imaging centers can do all of this on site, but what if there was an even more efficient way? Many diagnostic imaging centers, hospitals, urgent care and medical facilities are choosing teleradiology, a digital outsourcing of medical images to remote locations, and there’s a few reasons why.

 

In an article published by Science Direct, teleradiology is growing in popularity for many medical offices, hospitals, and imaging centers across the country. With the use of electronic transmission of images, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other specialty images can be shared to a radiologist on the spot. Because of a shortage in radiologists across the country, and globally, says Radiology Society of North America, there aren’t enough specialists to fulfill patient needs, especially those with specific needs, such as pediatric or neuro-radiology. There has been a long term burnout from COVID19 for many medical professionals, especially radiologists, and medical facilities have become creative with their job listings, making them a hybrid of in-house and remote work. Their hope is that these types of jobs will be more appealing, making teleradiology even stronger.

 

tele-radiology services
A radiologist reviews an x-ray

 

Teleradiology alleviates the need for a radiologist to be in the room with the patient, and allows for interpretation, collaboration, or education of an image at any time, day or night. When a patient needs a radiologist immediately, an image can be sent to a professional via LAN line, across states, or across the country for input. This kind of technology eliminates worry about staff shortages and time zones, when many emergencies could occur.  It also eliminates the need for specialists to relocate, as many rural medical facilities do not have access to radiologists on demand, according to The National Library of Medicine. During medical emergencies, difficult cases, or a time-sensitive diagnosis, as many are, teleradiology makes the process speedier than ever before.

Economically, teleradiology is a great choice as well, for both medical facilities and patients. The cost of having a radiologist on staff could be very expensive, however, with teleradiology, the cost dramatically drops because the medical institution is only charged per exam. In an article published by News Medical Life Sciences, teleradiology is an effective way to provide high-quality specialized services to patients that may not have access to them otherwise.

When choosing the technologies to provide to patients, a diagnostic imaging center may benefit the most from teleradiology, where patients can count on the speed and excellence of not only the healthcare staff present, but the specialists working hard on their cases from everywhere else.

Award-Winning Teleradiology Company: Vesta

With Vesta Teleradiology, we work alongside your team to provide accurate interpretations. Additionally, Vesta works with you in terms of the style and format of the interpretation report adapting to your center’s interpretive mode.

Benefits of Teleradiology Services for Urgent Care Facilities

Urgent care facility service use has increased substantially in recent years. Urgent care services’ popularity has provided conveniences and cost reductions of medical care needs.

When a patient enters an urgent care facility, the treating provider determines if radiology services will aid in the diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient. A medical assistant or radiology technician will then use the equipment to produce the radiological images.  

Once the technician creates the radiological images, the treating provider will view and diagnose or send the images to an expert at the teleradiology service contracted with the facility.

Broken bones are not the only reason an urgent care patient may access care at a convenient, local care medical facility. Patients arrive at the facilities for possible strokes, abdominal obstructions, complex pediatric ailments, and other health conditions. Expert radiological assessments can be crucial in practical and immediate treatment.

When a patient who needs radiology services accesses an urgent care facility, fast and professional analysis is essential for effective treatment. 

Teleradiology services have fit in nicely with the goals and objectives of the urgent care facilities for various reasons. Not all patients accessing urgent care need radiology services. Although the service can be life-saving if required, the low rate of use does not warrant the staffing of a full-time radiologist at each facility.

Contracting radiology services for these facilities allows a full-time expert to be available at all times, and these cost savings of a full-time employee are significant.

Teleradiology services allow a physician to access experts anywhere in the country. The pool of providers is not only available at any time, but a radiology expert’s conclusive reports can be sent securely and quickly. 

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If the treating physician has questions about any findings, the radiology expert is easy to reach. This convenience is also possible if the patient or physician requests a second opinion on the results.

With the convenience of radiological expertise availability, urgent care providers can also reduce their professional liability. Providers creating treatment plans for various injuries and symptoms can benefit an urgent care facility contracted with a teleradiological service. Many teleradiology service companies provide a resource for physician consultation. 

Choosing a Teleradiology Company for Your Hospital

Contracting with a teleradiology service can reduce liability for the urgent care facility while increasing and maintaining an excellent public reputation.

The medical care profession has changed drastically over the years, and so have the healthcare consumers. Consumers expect better service, insurance companies expect more conservative costs, and treating physicians need fast results with less liability.

Teleradiology fits nicely into the niche of urgent care facilities because it fits all the criteria of a rapidly changing medical system structure. Teleradiology can be a crucial component for a clinic to provide an ideal service of expert care at an exceptional value.

Teleradiology: Best Providers

Vesta has been providing expert radiology services for over 15 years. We use state of the art technology to streamline your workflow and provide stat readings whenever required. Whether you operate an urgent care center or a private practice our US Board Certified Radiologists are here to help you literally 24×7, even on weekends and nights.

 

teleradiology services

 

Please contact us for a custom proposal and a complimentary overview of our services and technology.