Sunday, August 7, 2022

AI performs as well as medical experts in analyzing lung disease, research shows

A research group at Nagoya University has developed an AI algorithm that accurately and quickly diagnoses the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The algorithm diagnoses it based only on information from non-invasive examinations, including lung images and medical information collected during daily medical care.

Doctors have waited a long time for early means of diagnosing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a potentially fatal disease that can scar a person’s lungs. Except for drugs that can delay disease progression, established treatments do not exist. Because doctors face many difficulties in diagnosing the disease, they often have to request a specialist diagnosis. In addition, many diagnostic techniques, such as lung biopsy, are highly invasive. These investigative measures may exacerbate the disease, increasing the patient’s risk of death.

Taki Furukawa, assistant professor at Nagoya University Hospital, in collaboration with RIKEN and Tosei General Hospital, has developed a new technique for the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Using artificial intelligence (AI), the group analyzed medical data from patients at Tosi General Hospital’s Interstitial Pneumonia Treatment Facility, collected during usual care. They found that their AI diagnosed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with the same accuracy as a human specialist. They published their results in the journal respiratory science,

Despite finding that their AI performed just as well as the experts, the team stresses that they do not see it as replacing medical professionals. Instead, they hope that experts will use AI in medical treatment to ensure they don’t miss opportunities for early treatment. Its use will also avoid invasive procedures such as lung biopsy, which can save lives.

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“Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in lung diseases has a very poor prognosis,” says Furukawa. “It has been difficult to diagnose even for general respiratory practitioners. The diagnostic AI developed in this study will allow any hospital to obtain a diagnosis comparable to that of a specialist. For idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the developed diagnostic AI as a screening tool It is useful and can pave the way for personalized medicine in collaboration with medical experts.”

Furukawa is upbeat about the possibilities: “The practical application of clinical AI and collaborative diagnosis with experts could lead to more accurate diagnosis and treatment. We expect it to revolutionize medical care.”

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This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI, grant/award number: JP19110253; Hori Science and Arts Foundation; Japanese Respiratory Foundation.

Story Source:

material provided by Nagoya University, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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