Why You Might Want AI Reading Your Next Mammogram

As reported by ABC News: Patients can now have their mammograms read by AI-enhanced software for a more accurate diagnosis.

Out of the 230,000 cases of breast cancer that will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, about 45% will be discovered in the later stages when there's a lower chance of successful treatment.

Fortunately, new AI-enhanced mammography software is being used to improve the early detection of breast cancer. Designed to augment the clinical expertise of the doctor reading your scan, artificial intelligence in mammography is especially smart at seeing past dense breast tissue that can obscure cancers on an image.

From accuracy to peace of mind, Dr. Alyssa Watanabe, associate professor in Clinical Radiology at USC and Chief Medical Officer of AI software company CureMetrix, tells DocPanel why you might want AI reading your next mammogram.

[DocPanel] How does AI work in breast imaging?

[Dr. Watanabe] AI is a technology that enables computers to behave like humans. One of the areas where AI now excels is in image analysis. Just as AI is now used to read your handwritten checks at the ATM, it can also be harnessed to pre-analyze mammograms before it is presented to the radiologist (the doctor who creates the final interpretation).

The AI software is trained with mammograms that are either known to be cancer-free or known to have specific cancers. AI software, such as CureMetrix cmAssist, can then classify lesions on mammograms and flag the suspicious areas for the radiologist to go back and evaluate.

With the aid of AI, research has shown that accuracy improves. It holds the potential to help detect cancers earlier and smaller, which then gives patients a higher chance of being cured.

Check out our interview with CureMetrix CEO, Kevin Harris: Improving Breast Cancer Detection with AI-Enhanced Mammography Software.

[DocPanel] What can it do that a radiologist can't?

[Dr. Watanabe] AI software is beneficial because it is always consistent and does not get tired. It may detect features on images that are not discernible to the human eye.


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[DocPanel] Who should get it?

[Dr. Watanabe] All women may benefit from having their mammograms read with the help of an AI software like cmAssist or cmTriage. In addition to enhancing cancer detection, the use of AI may also reduce unnecessary biopsies and recalls for additional imaging.

[DocPanel] Do you need a referral?

[Dr. Watanabe] Only a select few centers around the world have access to AI-based mammography software. However, all patients can send their cases for second opinions and AI-assisted interpretations using DocPanel Technologies. DocPanel offers an online uploader that is HIPAA secure (confidential). Or, patients can mail their CDs to DocPanel.

[DocPanel] Does it cost extra?

[Dr. Watanabe] Patients getting a second opinion on their mammogram can get their can supplemented with the power of AI at no additional charge through DocPanel. Patients and referring doctors can even choose their DocPanel radiologist, all of whom are vetted and highly trained specialists in their fields of radiology. They will customize their interpretation based on your concerns and are available to answer any questions you might have.

The easy to use platform makes it possible for everyone to access expert radiologists for customized interpretations and peace of mind that their exams have been read with quality, care, and state of the art AI technologies.

Watch the ABC News feature.