AI will automate some functions to help make radiologists more efficient and give them the freedom to focus on other aspects of their jobs, perhaps even to discover additional conditions that were previously undiagnosed, reports the World Economic Forum

From “Terminator” to “Black Mirror,” we’re inundated with the idea that machines are slowly taking over, set to eventually replace humankind entirely. This sort of apocalyptic chatter within the medical field, especially in radiology, reinforces the notion that radiologists are in danger of becoming obsolete, along with every other profession. This could not be further from the truth. The number of radiologists has been growing in the double digits for decades, and radiology is predicted to be among the fastest growing fields of the next decade. Some countries are even facing a radiologist shortage.

Still, AI will reshape how radiologists work, shifting their detection of medical conditions from an active to a proactive approach. Understanding these changes can give a better picture of how work will change for radiologists in the near term.

Current radiology AI systems perform single tasks, undertaking specific image recognition, such as nodule detection on a chest CT scan. These narrow, numerous, and necessary detection tasks are required to fully diagnose the image findings. AI can play a substantial part in improving the diagnostic workflow, even replacing a human in some of the more mundane tasks, such as scheduling. But unless we miraculously invent a complete end-to-end system that includes qualified oversight over the entire diagnostic pathway, AI will not replace radiologists entirely anytime soon.

Read more at the World Economic Forum