Setting the Pace on Imaging AI

COX_4225_Mike TilkinThis post was contributed by ACR Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Mike Tilkin.

Artificial Intelligence for medical imaging is nowhere near the “Star Trek” scenario where machines autonomously diagnose and treat patients.  The technological and regulatory challenges to that potential future remain immense.

What is near is AI helping radiologists make better, more efficient diagnoses as part of the next generation of clinical decision support tools.  This was the consensus among AI scientists, vendors and researchers in Reston this week for the ACR Data Science Institute (DSI) Summit.


One of the ACR DSI primary missions is to promote strategies that enable vendors to leverage emerging AI technologies to help radiologists help patients. To do this, the DSI needs to engage vendors and other stakeholders early in the process. That is what we are doing. And we learned from the summit that this is what they want too.

There is a great desire for close radiologist involvement in defining the use cases, establishing the criteria for validation, and ensuring a useful clinical pathway for incorporation into the radiology workflow.IMG_2693

The DSI is committed to work in all of these areas, and the discussion confirmed that we are headed in the right direction.  More of these summits will be scheduled in the near future to ensure continued communication and collaboration in this emerging area.

Imaging AI has the potential to be an important tool in the radiologist’s advanced technology toolkit. Working together with all stakeholders, including patients, we are moving imaging AI forward. We can and will make medicine better.

  • What are some use cases where you see that imaging AI can help radiologists do their jobs better (more efficiently)?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

Got ABR Certification Questions? Time for Answers

This post was contributed by Timothy L. Swan, MD, FACR, FSIR, a board-certified interventional radiologist, who is the Speaker of the ACR Council and a member of the ACR Board of Chancellors.

Swan_TOn Oct. 15, the American Board of Radiology (ABR) will issue the new Interventional Radiology and Diagnostic Radiology (IR/DR) certificate.

It will replace the ABR Diagnostic Radiology specialty certificate and the Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR) subspecialty certificate that interventional radiologists now hold.

The ABR announced that VIR certificate holders must:

  1. Convert DR and VIR certificates to a new IR/DR certificate; or
  2. Opt out and retain only their DR certificate

And, like me, I’m sure you have questions.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) recognized the significant impact and potential risks to practicing interventional radiologists by the ABR’s change in certification of interventional radiologists. The College has invited ABR representatives to provide details of the ABR’s upcoming certification changes and to answer member questions.

The ACR is hosting a Sept. 22 webinar at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) to give you an opportunity to ask ABR representatives questions about the changes. Register to attend the ACR webinar.

I’ll moderate the webinar. ACR participants include Richard Duszak Jr., MD, FACR, Vice Speaker of the ACR Council; Philip S. Cook, MD, FACR, FSIR; and Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, FACR, FSIR, FAHA.

Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) President Suresh Vedantham, MD, FSIR, will join the webinar, along with ABR representatives John Kaufman, MD, FSIR; Anne Roberts, MD, FACR, FSIR; and Valerie Jackson, MD, FACR.

Below are additional resources for your use: 

Can’t make our webinar? The ACR will record the webinar and provide its link so you may access it at your convenience.

You may submit questions for the ACR webinar via Facebook, Twitter and on Engage (login required) or in the comments section (below).

Please note that only ABR diplomates who hold a VIR Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) are affected; the DR certificate and other subspecialty CAQs held by everyone else remain unchanged.

Radiology Is an Art (or Vice Versa)?

Williams.tifThis post contributed by Charles D. Williams, MD, FACR.

A recent study published in JACR noted that radiology residents were better able to identify abnormalities in radiographs after analyzing artwork.

I don’t know how many of us may know a (Salvador) DalÍ from “Dogs Playing Poker.” However, it is intriguing that mind exercises outside the reading room just might help us be better at our jobs.

Flamboyant Artist

Describing the art in detail without “interpreting” the artwork helped the young doctors take in all the information they were seeing (to the finest detail) rather than looking for something specific to support a preformed conclusion.

I was once told a story about researchers that asked a spider to jump. Each time it did, they removed a leg. Once they had taken all the legs, they asked the spider to jump one more time. Of course, it couldn’t. So, the researchers concluded that a spider with no legs can’t hear!

You see, sometimes we have the right facts, but come to the wrong conclusions.

The art program may have also helped the residents describe what they were seeing in plain language (where possible) and provide a more thorough report of what they saw. Heard that anywhere? 

Now, I am not suggesting that all radiologists rush to the nearest art gallery (not discouraging it either). However, I do encourage you to think outside the box about things that can improve your work performance and work/life balance.

I have heard that some of us like to sail or have become pilots and find that the pre-sail or pre-flight check list and other aspects of those hobbies have helped them on the job.

I would be interested in knowing if you have any favorite non-radiology exercises or hobbies that you feel help you be a better radiologist (or at least better at some aspects of the job).

If you have examples, would you mind sharing in the comments section below and joining the discussion on Engage (login required)?