Curating the 2019 ACR Informatics Summit

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When I was approached about planning the 2019 ACR Informatics Summit, my goal was simple: assemble a diverse group of speakers, not only with respect to ethnicity and gender, or geographic location and practice type, but also diversity of perspectives related to one of the hottest topics in radiology: artificial intelligence (AI). Innovation is created when varied experiences, ideas, RADxx Speakers Bureauand insights are shared.

My first step was to recruit a terrific co-chair. Dr. Christopher Roth is an expert in implementing imaging technologies in clinical practice and is well connected in the world of imaging informatics. Together we recruited a fantastic team of moderators: Drs. Raym Geis, Tessa Cook, and Bibb Allen. The extensive connections the team brought formed the foundation of a great speaker panel.

Next, we searched the RADxx Speakers Bureau and other sites for engaging speakers on topics related to AI in medical imaging. Our keynote speaker hit the mark on all accounts: Professor Regina Barzilay, a computer scientist and MacArthur Genius Award recipient from MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab. Professor Barzilay was candid about the challenges surrounding AI, yet also inspiring. Her research is motivated by her own breast cancer diagnosis in 2014. Professor Barzilay is collaborating with Dr. Constance Lehman, a breast imager from Massachusetts General Hospital, to identify high-risk patients and to tailor a breast screening schedule that meets individual patient needs.

Following the keynote was a panel of speakers who brought different perspectives on the challenges and promises of AI. To kick off the discussion and create awareness of the many voices and backgrounds that must be engaged, Mr. David Andrews presented his thoughts and concerns from a patient perspective. He emphasized that the patient perspective is not one-size-fits-all and that as radiologists we will need to consider a range of opinions from our patients as we begin to employ this technology. Dr. Melissa Davis from Yale then discussed her real-world experience with implementing AI into clinical practice, followed by Dr. Dan Blezek’s discussion of the types of challenges informatics professionals face in translating AI into practice. Finally, Dr. Christoph Wald closed with thoughts from the point of view of a department chair.

The meeting ended with an all RADxx panel discussing the real-world challenges they face in managing the IT supply chain, a critical component of effective deployment of AI in health care. In this session moderated by Dr. Tessa Cook, Dr. Judy Gichoya, Sylvia Devlin, Charlene Tomaselli, and Roseann Spitznagel, they shared how radiology and enterprise IT departments can work together to bridge the divide; create consensus; and address the practical issues, challenges, and concerns surrounding AI deployment in the clinical radiology workflow. If you missed this session at the summit, this all RADxx panel also hosted a webinar based on their presentations available here.

Throughout the two-day summit, the energy in the room was palpable. While attendees agreed that there is much work to do to implement safe, reliable, and effective AI into the clinical practice of radiology, there is tremendous enthusiasm to work together to achieve this vision. Our professional world moves fast, and as leaders and learners, we do not always take the time to step back and hear all of the voices on an issue. The breadth of backgrounds at this event created a space for shared insights on AI and will foster a future of collaboration.