AI offers breakthrough for breast cancer screenings

Artificial intelligence could be used to improve the safety of breast cancer screenings, finds new research. 

More than 80,000 women participated in the Swedish study which compared the effectiveness of AI screenings compared to standard care.

The results showed that AI-supported screenings can enhance the outlook for breast cancer patients and decrease mortality rates by identifying the condition at a more manageable stage. 

This approach also maintains a low rate of false positives and substantially reduces the workload by nearly fifty per cent.

While further research is still needed, lead author Dr Kristina Lang said that AI has the potential to help overcome global staffing shortages in radiology. 

“The greatest potential of AI right now is that it could allow radiologists to be less burdened by the excessive amount of reading.

“While our AI-supported screening system requires at least one radiologist in charge of detection, it could potentially do away with the need for double reading of the majority of mammograms, easing the pressure on workloads and enabling radiologists to focus on more advanced diagnostics while shortening waiting times for patients.”

As spokesperson for the NHS added: “This research is very encouraging, and plans are under way to assess the best ways of implementing this technology into the NHS Breast Screening Programme.”

Dr Katharine Halliday, president of the Royal College of Radiologists, said: “AI holds huge promise and could save clinicians time by maximising our efficiency, supporting our decision-making and helping identify and prioritise the most urgent cases.

“There is a great deal of research interest in how AI could support reporting for mammograms because they are complex, requiring significant oversight and interpretation by clinical radiologists. The UK’s shortfall in radiologists, at 29%, makes this challenging.

“While real-life clinical radiologists are essential and irreplaceable, a clinical radiologist with the data, insight and accuracy of AI will increasingly be a formidable force in patient care.”

Here at Amaré Health, we offer a variety of opportunities for radiologists whether you’re seeking a full-time role or something more flexible. Give us a call on 0203 929 4017 today to speak to one of our expert consultants.