An artificial intelligence (AI) tool–trained on roughly a million screening mammography images–identified breast cancer with approximately 90 percent accuracy when combined with analysis by radiologists, a new study finds.
Led by researchers from NYU School of Medicine and the NYU Center for Data Science, the study examined the ability of a type of AI, a machine learning computer program, to add value to the diagnoses reached by a group of 14 radiologists as they reviewed 720 mammogram images.
“Our study found that AI identified cancer-related patterns in the data that radiologists could not, and vice versa,” says senior study author Krzysztof J. Geras, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone.
“AI detected pixel-level changes in tissue invisible to the human eye, while humans used forms of reasoning not available to AI,” adds Dr. Geras, also an affiliated faculty member at the NYU Center for Data Science. “The ultimate goal of our work is to augment, not replace, human radiologists.”
In 2014, more than 39 million mammography exams were performed in the United States to screen women (without symptoms) for breast cancer and determine those in need of closer follow-up. Women whose test results yield abnormal mammography findings are referred for biopsy, a procedure that removes a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing.