Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Medical Imaging

Posted November 26, 2019 by Kevin Brinkman

Medical imaging provides doctors information that helps them save millions of lives each year. With the rapid advancements in technology that the industry is experiencing, we can only wonder how medical imaging will develop in the future.

Current technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medical imaging will evolve through the healthcare continuum. It’s presence in current devices, applications, and processes will grow almost invisibly, as doctors and users experience continuous developments. Currently, this technology enables doctors to see certain data they would not be able to see with the human eye. AI can also assess the degree of urgency for each patient’s surgery, view each tissue layer to detect things like breast cancer, and provide automatic segmentation in cardiac MRI diagnostics.

AI and 3D medical imaging are important due to their ability to make images with much higher resolution and less noise and artifacts. In the early days of CT, a sweep across the body generally yielded up to 16 slices. With 3D technology, hundreds or thousands of slices can be taken, resulting in much higher resolution images. These slices are then assembled via AI into 3D images, giving radiologists a more realistic, human-form view. With CT’s 2D images, doctors have to stitch together the overall story of what they are seeing in the images. 3D is much more complete, making analysis more efficient and cost effective.

Where will it go from here?

The potential in the future of medical imaging lies in the amount of data that will become revealed. More information means more advanced detection and other preemptive knowledge. However, as the amount of available data increases, it could become overwhelming to doctors and other medical professionals. Analyzing 3D or even 4D imaging, the question is, will doctors’ knowledge and analysis be able to keep pace with the technology? Will medical imaging, at some point, become as complex as a futuristic language that no one on earth has the ability to understand?

AI will help

Even currently, data requires time to be properly analyzed. As more data becomes available through technology, more time will become necessary to work with it. AI will help reduce this time by advancing more real-time monitoring and analyzing tools. Additionally, AI will help radiologists be freed of the more mundane tasks of their jobs and help them be able to dedicate more time to helping patients. Ultimately, AI will help radiologists identify high-risk patients, create workflow efficiencies, and reduce the cost of care.

As advancements in medical imaging continue, doctors will be enabled to analyze and understand more and more data as it becomes “visible” through technology. One can only imagine how this will translate over time, and what effect it will have on doctors’ ability to stop the progress of, or even prevent, certain diseases.

At Technical Prospects, we don’t have a crystal ball to know what kind of equipment we’ll be working with and servicing in the next 5 or 10 years. We just know that we will be. Whenever you need parts, training, or service in the present or future, contact us.