Drug development and medical imaging: AI imaging solution implemented at WellSpan York Hospital

Drug development and medical imaging: AI imaging solution implemented at WellSpan York Hospital

The span of drug development has certainly improved; drugs are now being used in treating patients and are also used in acquiring more accurate imaging. As the use of pharmaceuticals as adjunct agents in achieving diagnostic imaging data increases, pharmacist involvement in the radiology department is becoming more common. With COVID-19, the number of patients undergoing diagnostic imaging procedures continues to increase.

Imaging has become crucial to the diagnostic process and through the advancements in technology and AI, imaging abnormalities are detected faster and more efficiently.

AIdoc, an Israeli technology company that develops computer-aided medical systems, has created a healthcare-grade, AI-based decision support software that analyzes medical imaging. The software flags abnormalities within the body, giving radiologists and pharmacists faster and more accurate diagnostic imaging results. This helps speed up the process of treatment delivery, and could potentially mitigate the effects of otherwise life-threatening illnesses. Overall, the AI expedites patient care and provides healthcare professionals more time to formulate a diagnosis.

This AI solution developed by AIdoc has helped WellSpan York Hospital in Pennsylvania detect imaging abnormalities not visible to the naked eye.


Every Minute Matters

In the treatment of certain conditions, such as a patient with or at risk for a stroke or cancer, every minute matters.

The system will scan radiology results across various neurological and cardiovascular conditions, including brain hemorrhages and pulmonary embolisms. It will flag imaging abnormalities and list findings in order of urgency for radiologists to review.

For a hospital like WellSpan that performs 580,000 scans per year, having a system that reports findings within two to six minutes will improve healthcare delivery and give doctors speedy results.

Radiologists at WellSpan Health are all board-certified and fellowship-trained. They have been using their expertise to flag results for years, and with AIdoc, reviewing cases will be more accurate and efficient. This will allow WellSpan to provide faster care, eventually leading to faster discharges.


Further Applications

The winter surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations requires an innovative approach to clear the backlog of cases. AIdoc has played a crucial part in this. As a result of this pandemic, many routine procedures and visits have been delayed or skipped. Because of AIdoc's technology, case selection has become more streamlined, allowing healthcare workers to work smarter.

Other applications of AI tech continue to present themselves. For example, Tulane University researchers found that AI was more accurate than pathologists at detecting and diagnosing colorectal cancer last year.

For its part, WellSpan aims to use the technology in other hospitals. Among the hospitals that WellSpan hopes to expand the AI system to are Good Samaritan Hospital and Ephrata Community Hospital.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released guidelines for artificial intelligence practices in medical imaging to enhance the use of AI and improve and speed up the process of formulating a diagnosis.

The NIH, Radiological Society of North America, and the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research have taken steps to improve medical imaging by providing recommendations. The four main recommendations included developing standardized use cases, establishing solid data sharing practices, assessing clinical and infrastructure requirements, and confirming the accuracy of the technology.


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