AI update

Society professional officer Tracy O’Regan gives an update on the current state of artificial intelligence and radiography

Published: 20 May 2022 Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) remains somewhat of an enigma to many radiographers, with the appearance of complexity compounded by the variety of ways in which AI may be used within medical imaging and radiotherapy.

AI is beginning to be implemented in different imaging modalities with different rates of adoption; varied experiences of practitioners depending on the clinical, education or research setting in which they are based; changing experiences and needs of the people present within clinical imaging and radiotherapy departments; and an accelerating rate of innovation as part of the digitalisation of healthcare, hastened by the arrival of Covid-19 pandemic.

AI is often referred to as a computer algorithm or set of algorithms which are capable of undertaking tasks traditionally undertaken by humans. That is not really a new concept in radiography where digital advances have progressed for a great many years. What is new, however, is the range of tasks that algorithms are capable of undertaking with advancing capabilities in image perception and the ability to learn from tasks and, in some cases,  improve.

In January 2020, the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) issued a Policy statement: Artificial Intelligence which focused on AI, including machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL). It outlined that the professional body would continue to support radiography professionals to champion person-centred care and quality services in diagnostic and radiotherapy services when considering AI and associated subsets.

In 2021, a Society of Radiographers working party for AI produced AI Guidance for clinical imaging and therapeutic radiography workforce professionals, a document with focus on four areas of radiographic practice in both clinical imaging and therapeutic services: . 

The Society’s Artificial Intelligence Advisory Group have opened a twitter account @SoR_AI_Advisory as one method to share information and update SoR members about projects.

Work planned for 2022 includes the development of a new SoR webpage, dedicated to keep members updated about AI, AI education and evolving AI matters for SoR members.

A longer version of this article will appear in the June issue of Synergy magazine