Proposals Automated Radiology Raise Concerns

October 6, 2020

By Grossman Green PLLC

When Kentucky seek help for a medical problem, their doctors often send them for X-rays, CT scans and other forms of diagnostic imaging. Radiology is one of the most important medical tools, including ultrasound scans, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other forms of scan. Between 1999 and 2010, the Mayo Clinic increased its use of CT scans by 68% and MRIs by 85%. Because of the detailed images these types of scans can present of areas of the body that are otherwise invisible, they can play an unparalleled role in determining a proper diagnosis for suffering patients.

However, misdiagnoses linked to radiology remain a serious concern. While the scan itself may have been performed properly, interpreting the scans requires a great deal of clinical skill and medical knowledge. When physicians miss serious diseases like cancer, their patients may suffer severely worsened health conditions. Some have suggested that more artificial intelligence technologies be incorporated, whereby scan results are assessed through the use of automated algorithms rather than a radiologist’s time. Researchers have noted that, through the use of neural networks, artificial intelligence could improve to a level where it could assess even complex images.

However, others have warned about the importance of safeguards in any attempt to automate disease diagnosis and detection. Too many serious illnesses are already missed, even with experienced radiologists viewing scan results. Existing artificial intelligence systems do not have the scope or technical depth necessary in order to deliver quality diagnostic care to patients.

The use of additional diagnostic software and tools also raises concerns about liability in the case of misdiagnosis of a patient’s disease, especially if that medical error leads to more serious health conditions. People who have suffered as a result of a doctor’s mistake may consult a medical malpractice attorney about their options.