Artificial intelligence (AI) can detect breast cancer in mammograms as effectively as experienced radiologists, and could cut their workload by about half, according to a new study.
The preliminary analysis of a long-term trial of 80,000 women in Sweden, published on August 1 in the journal Lancet Oncology, showed that AI readings of mammograms actually detected 20% more cases of breast cancer than the “standard” reading by two radiologists. The AI assessments were verified by one or two radiologists, depending on the patient’s risk profile.
The development has led the researchers to conclude that using AI in mammography screening is a “safe” way to help cut patient waiting times and reduce the pressure on radiologists amid a global workforce shortage. However, they say that it may be a while before mammograms will be read by a machine, as the experts warn that AI models need to be trained and tested more before they can be deployed in health-care settings.
The new findings are according to the new research that shows AI could help humans identify cancer earlier or more accurately, possibly leading to better outcomes for patients. The study is the first randomised controlled trial to investigate the use of AI in mammography screening, according to its authors.