How we are advancing imaging AI for health care, radiology and radiologists
AI has the potential to transform health care systems and medical imaging workflows, and those changes are on the horizon.
To accelerate the development of solutions that will seamlessly integrate AI into clinical practice, the Department of Radiology at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine initiated a collaboration with Microsoft + Nuance in the spring of 2023. Reza Forghani, MD, PhD, professor of radiology and AI and vice chair of AI at UF, leads a lab that is working with Nuance to optimize radiology workflows and deploy AI tools within the UF health system.
“I anticipate transformative changes in the next five years, including cloud-based systems equipped with advanced tools such as enhanced voice recognition and platforms capable of summarizing charts and generating reports,” Dr. Forghani said. “These innovations will enable radiologists to spend less time transcribing and more time looking at images.”
Last year, Microsoft and Nuance joined forces, combining their strengths at a pivotal moment in the evolution of AI in medical imaging. Together, Microsoft and Nuance are uniquely positioned to help health care systems develop AI-powered solutions to address their existing pain points and prepare for the ongoing evolution of AI in health care.
“A trillion-dollar company like Microsoft hasn’t historically considered radiology every day, all day,” said Matt Lungren, MD, MPH, chief medical information officer for Nuance. “Now there’s a massive part of the organization all the way up to the leadership thinking about radiology.”
Together, the two companies can offer the scale and security of Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing platform along with Nuance’s workflow, reporting, and imagesharing infrastructure. Nuance’s patient-centered diagnostic imaging platform, Precision Imaging Network (PIN), seamlessly delivers AI-generated patient information into clinical and administrative workflows.
“Microsoft is this massive horizontal platform with a core mission of empowering every person and organization to achieve more,” said Naveen Valluri, general manager, Health AI at Microsoft. “Azure provides a layer of global, hyper-scaled infrastructure that delivers various services to build solutions. Nuance is focused on clinical outcomes and has deep vertical expertise in reaching and serving the end-user.”
Nuance, a market leader in conversational AI and ambient intelligence, is well-known among radiologists.
“About 80% of radiologists use Nuance voice recognition and workflow tools,” Dr. Forghani said. “However, there’s less familiarity with the long-term roadmap and where things are going.”
To future-proof their practices, Dr. Lungren said health care providers must select a partner with a comprehensive understanding of their actual practical challenges and a commitment to long-term innovation.
“At Microsoft + Nuance, individuals with incredible depth and expertise in platforms and engineering sit side-by-side with product and program managers from Nuance who understand health care,” Dr. Lungren said. “While early research on use cases for generative AI in radiology reporting has been promising, we can help providers scale in a way that reduces the risk and provides the most value.”
Trust is also an important factor for AI integration, according to Valluri.
“We follow certain principles on a day-to-day basis, from how we deal with customer data to how we build AI models with transparency,” Valluri said. “We offer the safeguards that enable health care providers to deploy AI most confidently.”
Visit Microsoft + Nuance at Booth 1311 during RSNA 2023 to see product demonstrations and get more information about imaging AI solutions.