As physicians argue about whether technology will end up replacing them in the medical field, Hungary has emerged as a key testing ground for A.I. software to detect cancer.
The breast cancer treatment centers in Hungary were visited by Adam Satariano, a tech reporter in Europe.
Dr. Éva Ambrózay, a radiologist with more than 20 years of expertise, stared at a computer screen showing a patient’s mammography at Bács-Kiskun County Hospital.
As it turns out, the X-ray didn’t reveal indications for the patient’s breast cancer, based on prior statements made by radiologists.
However, the scan’s red-circled portions, which artificial intelligence algorithms had identified as possibly malignant, caught the attention of Dr. Ambrózay.
Soon after, she gave the woman the go-ahead to return for a biopsy.
By identifying the indications that clinicians miss, advances in A.I. are starting to lead to breakthroughs in breast cancer screening.
Early results and radiologists agree that the system is impressively capable of detecting cancer at least as well as human radiologists, which is one of the clearest examples to date of how A.I. may advance public health.
One of the greatest testing grounds for the technique on actual patients is Hungary, which has a significant breast cancer screening program.
Starting in 2021, A.I. systems were implemented at 5 different hospitals that do more than 35,000 screenings annually, and they now assist in looking for cancer indications that a radiologist may have missed.
Hospitals in the U.S., U.K., and E.U. are starting to test the systems or offer data to aid in their development.
Doctors and A.I. experts noted there are still numerous obstacles in the way of widespread use of A.I. cancer detection.
Beyond the few locations that are now employing the technology, further clinical studies are required before the devices may be more extensively used as automated second or third screening readers.
Furthermore, the tool must demonstrate its ability to deliver precise findings for female patients of diverse ages, races, and body types.
Additionally, radiologists stated the technology has to demonstrate that it can identify more advanced types of breast cancer and reduce the number of false positives that are not dangerous.
A.I. tools have also sparked a discussion over whether or not human radiologists will be replaced, with the manufacturers of the technology coming under regulatory scrutiny and opposition from some physicians and healthcare organizations.
Currently, those worries seem exaggerated.
According to many experts, people will only be able to trust technology if it is utilized in conjunction with qualified medical professionals.
And ultimately, artificial intelligence may save lives, according to Dr. László Tabár, a well-known mammography instructor in Europe who claimed to have changed his mind about the technology after looking at many vendors’ results in breast cancer screening.