ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

Tracking AI

The College’s latest survey included a deep dive into members’ perceptions of machine learning — and how it will affect their practices.
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A majority of both members and non-members believe that AI will be extremely or very prevalent in the future practice of radiology.

August 28, 2019

The ACR is committed to empowering its members to advance the practice, science, and professions of radiologic care. The College works to equip members with the tools they need to succeed — while actively promoting and advocating for the profession before Congress, federal and state regulatory agencies, and state legislatures.

In addition, the College delivers many benefits to empower radiologists and the patients they serve. Understanding how members — and non-members — view the ACR and the benefits of membership is critical to helping the College fulfill its commitments to members.

The College recently conducted the ACR Membership Tracker — a quantitative survey of members and non-members from a sample of radiologists to gain a better understanding of their views on emerging trends affecting the profession, such as AI. A total of 1,738 interviews were completed, of which 1,343 were members, 376 were non-members, and 19 were state chapter members

Tracking AI - Figure 1

 

The survey found that a majority of both members and non-members believe that AI will be extremely or very prevalent in the future practice of radiology (see Figure 1). Members were significantly more likely than non-members to see a high degree of AI in the future practice of radiology. These trends were consistent among members — regardless of career stage or subspecialty. The survey also found that members and non-members agree that AI will have a significant positive effect on radiology, improving efficiency and reducing error rates. Members were significantly more likely than non-members to believe that AI will improve efficiency of reporting, and significantly less likely to agree that demand for radiologists will decline because of AI (see Figure 2).

Impact of AI in Radiology

The ACR, through regular messaging and the work of the Data Science Institute, has been working to dispel some fears members have that AI will significantly disrupt their livelihoods. These survey results indicate that members are more optimistic about the future of the radiology profession than their non-member counterparts — due in part to their interaction with ACR. The College will continue to keep members abreast of developments within AI as it relates to radiology, as well as survey members annually to measure feedback and track trends that might affect industry growth as these perceptions evolve over the years.

Author Monique C. Talbot, CAE, ACR membership director, and Mary Jo Tarrant, MBA, ACR director of portfolio planning and environmental intelligence