What does the radiologist of the future look like?
Pictured are CDR Chris Nguyen, SFC Erik Griffin, LCDR Andrew Harbuck, Ethan Reeves, LTC Paul Clark, DO, LCDR Joanna
Krause, SFC Clinton Long, Reginald Powell, COL Mohammad Naeem, MD, MAJ Marit Duffy, and MAJ Grayson Hooper at Fort
Belvoir Community Hospital.
It is hard to be sure what the next 10 years will look like. Yet most would agree that a seismic event is on our horizon: the arrival of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
There has been much talk recently about AI and the implied dehumanization of our specialty and possible threat to our very existence. I can understand the former concern but will leave the latter to science fiction (and perhaps Stephen Hawking). The question remains, can computers do our job? The answer depends on how you define our job. If the automated measurements and verbiage generated by a computer are all that make the report, then move over; we are lost. But I believe we are defined by our ability to arrive at a correct final impression that is unmatchable by a machine. Any CAD system is an adjunct, not a replacement. I look forward to AI as my wingman, embedded in our informatics to improve efficiency, accuracy, and quality.
The radiologist of the future will take advantage of the vast array of informatics tools to produce enhanced, data-driven reports, assisted by AI to advance accuracy and efficiency. In so doing, we maintain an essential service for patients and avoid the pitfall of radiology as a commodity that could be performed by a machine. In my view, the radiologist of tomorrow remains gainfully employed as a cornerstone between the differential and the correct diagnosis.