Fox News recently interviewed David Ouyang, MD, a cardiologist in the Smidt Heart Institute and a researcher in the Division of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, about a study that found artificial intelligence (AI) outperformed sonographers in diagnosing heart problems.
The study, led by Ouyang, assessed who was better at evaluating 3,495 echocardiogram studies for cardiac function—AI or experienced sonographers. Cardiologists then reviewed the data for any discrepancies.
The findings, published in the journal Nature, showed that the cardiologists made corrections to only 16.8% of the scans done by AI compared to 27.2% of diagnoses made by sonographers.
"Cardiologists were not able to distinguish between preliminary assessments by AI versus sonographers, and in fact, the AI assessments needed less correction," Ouyang told Fox News.
He said the investigators hoped to show that machine and man were equals, “but were pleasantly surprised to show that AI was superior.”
Though Ouyang believes this tool can greatly improve patient care, he said AI systems still need to be validated, noting that this study of AI in healthcare was one of few prospective trials—where investigators follow subjects for a period of time. He said most other trials have not been blinded or randomized—the gold standard for research.
“Be cautious about which AI tools to use and ask questions about how many examples the AI was trained on and what evidence of performance is there,” Ouyang told Fox News.
Ouyang and his co-authors plan to further monitor the accuracy of AI as it’s implemented at other hospitals, but he said it should not replace human oversight.
"We very much need clinicians to still be in charge—cardiologists still need to review and confirm findings, even though the AI can make it faster and get more precise measurements than sonographers," Ouyang told Fox News.
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