As an ophthalmologist with a passion for health IT, P. Lloyd Hildebrand, MD, FACS, has thought a lot about the use of artificial intelligence in clinical practice. So as he and his colleague, H. Jay Wisnicki, MD, delivered a talk on the subject earlier this month at AAO 2017, Hildebrand was fairly certain that he could predict what his audience’s biggest question would be.
“It’s usually something like, ‘Are machines going to replace us?’ And my answer is always the same,” says Hildebrand, professor emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Oklahoma. “This technology isn’t going to take away our jobs, it’s going to empower us and our profession. It’s going to make us better physicians, and it’s going to allow for better healthcare.”
AuntMinnie.com rolled out the virtual red carpet on October 25, announcing the winners of the 2017 Minnies. The awards, which celebrate the best ideas and brightest minds in radiology, recognized numerous contributions that are advancing a future shaped by augmented radiology. IBM Watson Health is proud to have been recognized for our work in this field, taking home the award for Best New Radiology Software for IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review.
The reading room reality
Radiologists spend just one third of their time on image interpretation
. For the majority of the day they are either supervising studies, performing image-guided procedures, teaching, in meetings, consulting with physicians, or directly caring for patients. Their work day is dynamic and full of interruptions, making effectiveness in the reading room an ongoing challenge.
Being efficient and productive in the dark room becomes increasingly important when radiologists encounter rare and complicated cases that require knowledge of patient history to complement the evaluation of medical images. This often means searching for patient information by manually sifting through multiple, extensive, disorganized and disconnected EMR records. Moreover, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that approximately 80% of patient data is unstructured
(e.g. notes and reports). Reading and understanding this data in order to uncover clinical meaning relevant to the imaging study at hand, disrupts radiologists’ workflow and takes up valuable time. In an age of increasing demands on reading physicians, this is a burden they can hardly afford.
Last week, many of the biggest names in medical imaging informatics came together in Portland, Oregon for the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) annual meeting, where they discussed the future of the field. The conference was full of insightful presentations from those on the leading edge of imaging IT.
Trekking out to the west coast for SIIM 2016 next week? While your plans may include exploring Portland’s finest Japanese gardens and gourmet donuts, there is also plenty to learn about imaging informatics at the annual conference. With this year’s theme centered on leading change, we expect some truly interesting presentations from an array of industry experts.