ARTIFICIAL intelligence could be used as a crucial tool for clear, objective assessment of lung disease to aid radiologists in what has been a measured task and may lead to the development of new treatment.
Loss of lung tissue has long been a challenge which limits possible therapeutic actions because of the damage caused. More recently, researchers have attempted to distinctly diagnose and quantify the severity of lung disease as treatment has become more advanced creating opportunities for the use of artificial intelligence and imaging. The results of Siemens Healthineers’ AI-Rad Companion, artificial intelligence software which uses an algorithm to examine chest scans, were compared with the results from traditional lung function tests measuring the forcefulness with which a person can exhale, in a recent study led by Dr U. Joseph Schoepf, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Employment of the software shows significant progress towards the use of chest scans to objectively classify lung disease and monitor the effect of treatment.
Chest scans are not in the guidelines for the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease because their assessment may not be objective. If imaging is proven to be beneficial in the classification of lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, it may play a more permanent role leading to increased opportunity for the development of new drugs and treatment options. Dr Schoepf stated that the system will undergo testing for 3 months before it can be utilised on a larger scale. Although interpretation of the imaging will still be a task for radiologists, advanced software should relieve them of repetitive tasks and prove beneficial in standardising care.