More hospitals than imaging centers are adopting AI, new report says

According to a December 2017 research survey conducted by the healthcare market research firm Reaction Data, most hospitals and imaging centers will be using machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) technology by 2020.

The results showed that 16 percent of medical imaging professionals don't plan to adopt machine learning in the near future. Additionally, according to the data, adoption of AI and machine learning has been lagging in imaging centers. 

"The primary motivation behind this study is the sheer amount of hype going on in healthcare, specifically in radiology and imaging, around AI, deep learning and machine learning," according to the Reaction Data report. "In essence, the machine learning buzz is … through the roof.  We wanted to see what all the hype was about and to uncover the real story of AI and machine learning."

Of the 133 survey respondents, 90 percent were from hospitals and 10 percent were from imaging centers. Of the individuals, 45 percent were radiology department directors, 20 percent were radiologists, 9 percent were imaging directors, 7 percent were radiology managers, 7 percent were chiefs of radiology, 6 percent were technologists and an additional 6 percent were PACS administrators. 

For respondents currently using machine learning in medical imaging, three in four said they use it for breast imaging, 25 percent for lung imaging and 19 percent for cardiovascular imaging. Pulmonary hypertension imaging, neural aneurysm imaging and "other" were each marked by 13 percent or less of all respondents. 

When asked for reasons for not utilizing machine learning, 46 of respondents said they were unsure of its usefulness, 39 percent said their organization/institution isn't thinking that far ahead, and 15 percent said that humans are better than AI. 

"In our opinion, AI is here to stay. The rapid level of adoption and AI’s ability to aid clinicians in their critical jobs are both encouraging," concluded Research Data in their report. "But the proof’s in the pudding, so we will ping the market again later in the year and see if the current trends hold."