Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

Artificial intelligence sounds more like something out of a science fiction movie than a tool for doctors to diagnose malignant mesothelioma. But researchers who are working to perfect the transformative technology are predicting that it will become an integral tool in quickly and accurately identifying the rare and fatal form of cancer, that will allow physicians to begin the appropriate treatment much more quickly.

The easiest way for the average person to understand how a complex technology like artificial intelligence can help with the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is to think about its most recognizable uses in our modern life. One common example will be familiar to users of the social media platform Facebook: when you add a photo to a Facebook post, it is artificial intelligence that provides you with a list of likely names with which to tag the photo. It is also artificial intelligence that recognizes when a credit card’s use is suspicious enough to notify the cardholder. With medical technology, the cancer community is teaching machines to recognize the features of mesothelioma cancer in a way that is equal or superior to the abilities of human researchers. This will allow doctors and oncologists who are not at teaching hospitals and rarely see mesothelioma to be confident in a diagnosis, and potentially respond in a way that will provide more effective treatments and longer survival times. In some cases it is not expected that artificial intelligence will replace radiologists, but instead that it will be used to prescreen the films. They can flag abnormal X-rays in order to save radiologists the time required to look at each film carefully.

Physicians have begun to test artificial intelligence’s ability to detect lung cancers and mesothelioma tumors. A Canadian study found AI able to see a single malignant lung nodule, while Harvard University researcher Dr. Aerts says that it was able to see subtleties that are beyond the ability of the human eye. And a team of engineers from the University of Central Florida have developed a computer able to identify traces of lung cancer in CT scans that are at a microscopic level with 95 percent accuracy. When analyzed by humans, the accuracy level was only 65 percent.

Quick diagnosis may be one of the most challenging aspects of malignant mesothelioma, but it is not the only one. If you need assistance with dealing with your disease, we can help. Contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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