January 22, 2024

Joint Radiological Society Paper Guides Implementation and Use of AI Tools in Radiology

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®), with other radiological societies, issued a joint paper published Jan. 22 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR®), to help guide the creation, implementation and use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in daily radiology practice. As noted in a related press release, the paper explores the potential challenges, and ethical and safety concerns related to integrating this new technology into patient care.

The authors also suggest that cooperation between imaging AI developers, clinicians and regulators is the best way to allow everyone involved to address ethical issues and to monitor AI performance.

“Continuous AI monitoring that captures model performance, examination parameters, and patient demographics in data registries offers significant advantages, including being able to identify the causes of diminished performance in real time and the ability to provide developers with aggregated data for model improvement,” said Bibb Allen Jr., MD, FACR, ACR Data Science Institute® Chief Medical Officer.

The researchers said ethical issues with AI in radiology will require a combination of technical solutions, government activity, regulatory oversight and ethical guidelines developed by a wide range of stakeholders, including clinicians, patients, AI developers and ethicists.

“AI in radiology should ultimately increase patient well-being, minimize harm, respect human rights, and ensure that the benefits and harms are distributed among stakeholders in an equitable way,” said Christoph Wald, MD, PhD, MBA, FACR, Chair of ACR Commission on Informatics. “Since AI heavily relies on data, ethical issues relating to the acquisition, use, storage, and disposal of data are central to patient safety and the appropriate use of AI.”

The guidance — created and released with the Canadian Association of Radiologists, the European Society of Radiology, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and the Radiological Society of North America — is intended to provide guidance for developers, purchasers and users of AI in radiology to ensure practical issues that surround all stages of AI — from conception to long-term integration in healthcare — are clear, understood and addressed, and that patient and societal safety and well-being are the primary drivers of all decisions.

For more information, contact Lyndsee Cordes, ACR Director of Publications.