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Seven months ago the tech-investor website Nanalyze presented a list of nine AI startups intent on disrupting radiology. Its list has now topped 40. And its editors are more bullish than ever on the prospect of machines pushing radiologists to “move on to more value-added activities.”
“It’s not just that AI can provide a substitute for a radiologist, it’s that AI can do things that a radiologist can’t even come close to doing,” Nanalyze states in a piece published Aug. 19. “[I]t’s not just the image that AI can evaluate in isolation, but rather AI algorithms can take into account a patient’s entire electronic health record. Your prior medical history can provide a wealth of information that the algorithm could begin to make associations with over time. Imagine a radiologist trying to digest all that data before sitting down to look at 100,000 images.”
The thrust of the article is on Watson-powered IBM as a strong investment bet (and, in a sidebar, the editors misidentify radiologic technologists as image interpreters), but the piece is worth a read for its investor’s-eye perspective on AI developers’ keen interest in radiology.
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Radiology is the branch of medicine that studies imaging of the body; X-ray (basic, angiography, barium swallows), ultrasound, MRI, CT and PET. These imaging techniques can be used to diagnose, but also to treat a range of conditions, by allowing visuali...