Steering the Path from AI-assisted Imaging to AI-assisted Diagnosis

Solving the challenges in healthcare with faster, confident decision making.

AI in clinical diagnostic imaging practice began with the introduction of Canon Medical Systems UK’s AI-assisted imaging, firstly through CT, and now MRI, using a Deep Learning reconstruction AI algorithm called Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE).

This differentiates ‘noise’ from true signal to clean up images resulting in high-quality scans free from distortion. It helps to preserve edges, improve textures and maintain details to assist with clearer clinical interpretation. It also reduces the need for image retakes and is at a much lower patient radiation dose than offered before for CT. It is now being used by dozens of hospitals across the UK bringing benefits to patients.

“Artificial Intelligence in imaging is about solving many of the challenges in modern healthcare. This includes providing the tools to help clinicians make confident decisions faster when faced with growing backlogs; to help simplify workflows that can optimise staffing and equipment resource deployment; and about reducing the stress and exhaustion on health professionals,” states Mark Hitchman, Managing Director at Canon Medical Systems UK.

Speed and Accuracy

Improved diagnostic accuracy is also cited as one of the benefits at NHS Lothian’s Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh using an AI-assisted CT. Along with making complex paediatric examinations easier, it speeds up scans and reduces dose for young patients. The CT Radiographer stated, “Dose reduction for paediatric patients is amazing. The 16cm detector can achieve a volume scan in 0.5 seconds on a head, which is really helpful when examining young patients – we no longer need anaesthetics or strategies to try and keep them still for as long. The fast speed really helps us perform the procedure quicker and is better for the small person concerned.”

At Wycombe Hospital, part of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, the Deputy Lead MRI Radiographer gave feedback on The AI-assisted MRI stating that, “The Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine Deep Learning reconstruction technology produces great images that are detailed and low in noise. This reduces scan times and produces valuable diagnostic images first time.”

Gathering up data to teach AI and cement its place in daily clinical practice

“Great strides are being made on the visionary future of AI,” continues Mark Hitchman. “Behind every deeplearning innovation there is lots of data – this is what builds the algorithms and feeds the machines with knowledge. It is the decanting of this relevant healthcare data safely, which is pseudonymised to ensure protection of patients’ personal details, that is key to accelerating the pace of turning great AI ideas into daily clinical practice reality. The big data sources include patient medical records, CT or MRI scan images, pharmacy records, laboratory results and all the other sub-sectors of the healthcare ecosystem. Each AI application needs up to 100,000 data sets or even more to learn from along with a development process involving human clinical evaluation.”

He continues, “Canon Medical UK is very proud to have a home-grown hub of AI research and development via Canon Medical Research Europe based in Edinburgh. This group of software engineers and architects collaborates with 15 partners in the UK across academia, the NHS and industry via its Safe-Haven Artificial Intelligence Platform (SHAIP). This means, in essence, that the data being used to develop future AI innovations is gathered from UK specific data sources, making the development accurate and specific to our patient populations, at the same time as working closely with colleagues in Japan, China, Europe and the USA.”