AI co-pilot : Content-based image retrieval for the reading of rare diseases in chest CT

The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of the newly developed Similar patient search (SPS) Web Service, which supports reading complex lung diseases in computed tomography (CT), on the diagnostic accuracy of residents. SPS is an image-based search engine for pre-diagnosed cases along with related clinical reference content. The reference database was constructed using 13,658 annotated regions of interest (ROIs) from 621 patients, comprising 69 lung diseases. For validation, 50 CT scans were evaluated by five radiology residents without SPS, and three months later with SPS. The residents could give a maximum of three diagnoses per case. A maximum of 3 points was achieved if the correct diagnosis without any additional diagnoses was provided. The residents achieved an average score of 17.6 ± 5.0 points without SPS. By using SPS, the residents increased their score by 81.8% to 32.0 ± 9.5 points. The improvement of the score per case was highly significant (p = 0.0001). The residents required an average of 205.9 ± 350.6 s per case (21.9% increase) when SPS was used. However, in the second half of the cases, after the residents became more familiar with SPS, this increase dropped to 7%. Residents’ average score in reading complex chest CT scans improved by 81.8% when the AI-driven SPS with integrated clinical reference content was used. The increase in time per case due to the use of the SPS was minimal.


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