AI-supported mammography screening are ‘safe’ and almost halve the usual radiologist workload, found an interim safety analysis of the first randomised controlled trial of its kind. However, the full results are not expected for several years.
The trial involving 80,000 Swedish women aged 40 to 80 found AI-supported mammography analysis was as good as two breast radiologists working together to detect breast cancer, without increasing false positives and almost halving the screen-reading workload.
Lead author Dr Kristina Lång said the ‘promising’ results ‘should be used to inform new trials and programme-based evaluations to address the pronounced radiologist shortage in many countries.’
There’s a shortfall of around 41 radiologists in the UK (2020) and 50 in Sweden and it takes more than 10 years to train a radiologist to interpret mammograms. European guidelines recommend double reading of screening mammograms by two radiologists to ensure accuracy.
Dr Lång cautioned that their findings ‘are not enough on their own to confirm that AI is ready to be implemented in mammography screening.’ She explained: ‘We still need to understand the implications on patients’ outcomes, especially whether combining radiologists’ expertise with AI can help detect interval cancers that are often missed by traditional screening.’
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