in AI, Radiology

With Love, A.I: Can A.I Replace Radiologists?

Well the short answer is “Yes”, longer answer is “not right now but in a few years”. I know that is very provocative and most people would disagree, especially radiologists. Stanford researchers have been able to create machine learning models and algorithms that can detect brain aneurysms much more effectively than a radiologist.

What is a brain aneurysm?

Brain aneurysm is a bulge in the blood vessels that could potentially leak or burst causing brain hemorrhage, damage or even death.

So the question is, if AI can do a better job of identifying aneurysms, can it be used in place of radiologists doing a similar function? If it can, then we will not be limited by number of radiologists there are but by number of servers we can add. Moore’s law applies to machines and not to humans so over time it’d become cheaper to deploy AI Radiologists than human radiologists.

This new AI tool is apparently built on an algorithm called HeadXNet. Researchers note however that the results are dependent on “scanner hardware and imaging protocols” which are not standardized, providers (hospital or lab) might have different hardware and use different imaging techniques that will influence how the AI tool detects or misses accurate diagnosis.

In this brain scan, the location of an aneurysm is indicated by HeadXNet using a transparent red highlight. (Image credit: Allison Park)

“A lot of patients are not getting treatment fast enough.”

Eric Schmidt

Augmented reading on the topic from

The Algorithm Will See You Now