Radiologic technologists are, on the whole, positive about the future role AI in imaging according to a recent white paper published by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists Foundation.
Named The Artificial Intelligence Era: The Role of Radiologic Technologists and Radiation Therapists, the 21-page white paper gathered data and opinions from 20,000 medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals, providing a reflection of imaging professionals’ views. It covered a number of topics including Ethics, Patient Focus, Trust and preventing bias in algorithms.
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The majority of respondees saw AI as contributing benefits to radiology in both quality and safety. Younger radiologists (aged 18 to 24) thought AI would expand their responsibilities as radiologic technologists.
The paper included the following findings:
- In answer to the question How do you think AI/ML/automated features will affect the scope of
your current role? 53.5% across ages 18 to 63 and
older saw no change.
- However, when asked about the impact of AI, ML and automated features on the profession in general, the results were more evenly spread with 31.3% thinking it would be reduced, 30.2% seeing and expansion and 38.6% expecting no change.
When asked How do you think AI/ML/automated features will affect staffing levels? 62.7% across all ages saw no change in their role but, for the profession in general, a lower figure of 46.4% expected no change.
The document authors commented on a healthy level of trust towards AI amongst respondees saying that positive outcomes depended on a willingness to learn and embrace change.
“Medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals should embrace the positive role of AI in patient care and its assistance with manual and repetitive tasks, leaving them time to perform more value-added responsibilities,” the study authors wrote. “Professionals still will practice the science and techniques for which they were trained with the help of relatable, pertinent and predictive tools."
Radiologic technologists constitute the third-largest group of healthcare professionals behind only physicians and nurses.
The entire white paper is available here.
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