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RADIOLOGY


Dawn of a New Era By Mark Hagland


An ACR-led initiative offers promise for the adoption of artificial intelligence tools in radiology practice nationwide


F


or years, the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has been extolled in the specialty of radiology, but early attempts to incorporate AI and machine learning have not always panned out. Now, however, things are moving forward with alacrity. And one of the most exciting ini- tiatives is being sponsored by lead- ers at the American College of Radi- ology (ACR), with participation by radiologists from across the U.S. That initiative is called the Ameri- can College of Radiology Data Sci- ence Institute ACR AI-LAB, and described, upon its April 5 public launch, as “a free software platform that will empower local radiolo- gists to participate in the creation,


validation and use of healthcare arti- ficial intelligence.” A June update noted that “Radi- ology professionals from seven renowned healthcare institutions will use the ACR AI-LAB to demon- strate the process of creating investi- gational artificial intelligence models from image data without the use of a programming language. Using an AI model developed at one institution, each of the seven institutions will have the ability to evaluate and opti- mize the model for their own inves- tigational use. Based on the recently announced ACR AI-LAB reference architecture,” the ACR stated, “this pilot represents a major milestone in the effort to allow institutions to develop high-quality algorithms that


10 hcinnovationgroup.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019


address local clinical needs, some of which may ultimately be made commercially available. In addition to the seven institutions, there are two major technology contributors; NVIDIA is providing software and edge infrastructure, and Nuance is providing last-mile integration to the participating radiologist.” As the specialty society’s website explained it, “The pilot—originally including Massachusetts General Hospital and The Ohio State Uni- versity—now also includes Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Emory University, The University of Wash- ington, the University of California San Francisco and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. NVIDIA will pro- vide its NVIDIA Clara AI software


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