Exploring the role of AI in medical imaging

Dr Marcus Jackson, chair of the CoR Board of Trustees, has spoken at an event to discuss the Society’s perspective on AI in medical imaging

Published: 14 February 2024 Health & safety

The College of Radiographers’ chair of the Board of Trustees has spoken at St. George’s University of London to discuss what role AI can play in medical imaging. 

Dr Marcus Jackson participated in the University’s Big Read event, which aims to gather together the St George's community to share ideas about thought-provoking topics through shared reading. 

The panel discussion was held on 31 January and was titled Hello World: The Role of AI in Medical Imaging, as part of a programme of events aiming to help incoming students feel welcome and settle into the university environment. 

‘How to be human in the age of the machine’

As part of the Big Read, all new students to St George’s receive the same book upon enrolment, which this year was Hello World - How to be Human in the Age of the Machine by Professor Hannah Fry.

Facilitated by Dr Christina Malamateniou, postgraduate programme director for radiography at City, University of London, and written by Dr Tracy O’Regan, professional officer of clinical imaging and research with the SoR, the panel session explored the importance of effective governance of AI and its potential implementation within healthcare.

Dr Jackson said: "The Big Read session was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the work of the AI Advisory Group and the support for practitioners, managers and student radiographers provided by the SoR and CoR. I delivered an excellent presentation written by Dr Tracy O'Regan (professional officer clinical imaging and research) and Dr Malemateniou gave us a comprehensive overview of the current and potential future use of AI, its challenges and its opportunities. The session prompted engaging discussion about AI and the work of the SoR and CoR."

AI holds immense potential in healthcare, particularly in tissue-scanning, where it outperforms human eyes in anomaly detection. However, public understanding of AI is low, often leading to media-induced uncertainty, according to the university, explaining its reasons for this topic. 

Supporting members

Dr Jackson gave an overview of how the College is supporting SoR members when it comes to matters of AI, as well as detailing the SoR’s official policy and guidance, and explaining the work of the Society’s working advisory group on the subject, which is investigating the technology’s impact. 

These efforts include learning modules, webinars, and other forms of guidance and research, including:

  • E-learning for health (e-lfh): Clinical Imaging AI module healthcare staff
  • Webinars – AI focused on radiographers (SoR September 2023) and multidisciplinary (BIR recorded sessions)
  • SoR Member AI webpage – updates, education and training
  • SoR member Synapse workspace – digital, informatics, and AI
  • CoR AI Radiography Research Grants
  • Updated Rapid Review AI Guidance for SoR Members
  • AXREM Special focus group for AI – Explore Internship opportunities
  • Health Education England / e-lfh/Keele University Project – informatics for healthcare professionals led by CSP with AHP professional bodies
  • Postgraduate level AI programmes tailored to clinical imaging

He concluded that while there were opportunities in virtual simulation, personalised learning, real time feedback and asynchronous communication (students learning at their own pace/interactive formative assessments), there remained risks: a lack of structured training in AI and its uses; cheating (assessments and publishing); and lack of learning community.

The best way to mitigate these threats, he explained, is to educate both staff and students on the appropriate and misuse of AI, to create AI-proof assessments such that AI cannot generate information that does exist online, and to modify policies and academic regulations to include the penalties for the misuse of AI.

(Image: Dr. Marcus Jackson, by Julian Dodd)