ASRT Foundation White Paper Explores Rad Tech Role in AI

Jan. 17, 2020

Employing a survey of some 20,000 medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals, guided by the industry acumen of leading medical imaging manufacturers, the ASRT Foundation has published a white paper on artificial intelligence and radiologic science professionals’ perceptions of how they will work with it in the future.

See the ASRT Foundation white paper here:

The Artificial Intelligence Era: The Role of Radiologic Technologists and Radiation Therapists

Authored by the HCIAC Corporate Roundtable Subcommittee on Artificial Intelligence, the 21-page study explores the attitudes and perspectives of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals toward emerging AI technology and its potential effects on image quality and patient care. In general, survey respondents did not demonstrate widespread concern that AI will adversely affect their professional role or staffing level requirements. More than 38% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they saw possibilities for an expanded scope of their role with additional integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning.  Most respondents believed they would see beneficial or neutral effects from AI implementation, while only about 30% anticipated AI would have a negative effect on patient interaction.

In preparation for potential changes, the paper encourages radiologic science professionals to welcome the technology and find ways make their future role more relevant.

  • Individuals should participate in or lead efforts to maintain quality of AI-based devices and to incorporate AI into quality programs, particularly for patient radiation dose.
  • Professionals should be poised for role or workforce changes and be aware and prepared; new opportunities likely will arise, especially for individuals who choose to adapt and learn.
  • Stakeholders must come together as groups to encourage beneficial use of AI in line with established codes of ethics.

“Medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals should embrace the positive role of AI in patient care and its assistance with manual and repetitive tasks, leaving them time to perform more value-added responsibilities,” the study concludes. “Professionals still will practice the science and techniques for which they were trained with the help of relatable, pertinent, and predictive tools. The combination of equipment with machine learning and the educated professional will help radiologic science staff work smarter while providing the essential human element of patient care.”

The ASRT Foundation’s HCIAC Corporate Roundtable is a program that brings together leading manufacturers of medical imaging equipment along with other related professionals to address issues facing radiologic technology.