By C. Douglas Phillips, MD
People tell me that we are approaching a new generation of
computer-assisted diagnostic tools. So,
the scan is done, and the data goes to HAL, and HAL reads the exam. Likely works cheap, too. Gets reports out
almost instantly. I’ve been thinking a
lot about this, and I’m not sure what this will lead to, but I’m not losing a
lot of sleep over it. I think that the
confusing scans to me will be confusing to HAL, too. In fact, I think HAL will need me a lot.
Computer-assistance for interpretation has been around a
while, and none of us are without jobs yet. Plainly it will get better. And,
if you push this far enough out, I think it will be a primary method to
diagnose. But not for a long while. About the time that computers do all the surgery and also examine
patients. So, when we lose our jobs, our
colleagues will lose theirs, as well.
Any and all opinions regarding computers as radiologists are
welcome. I’m thinking within the next 15
years we will see a lot of computer-performed early reads (like EKGs). What do you all think?
Professional Biography: C. Douglas Phillips, MD,
FACR, is a Professor of Radiology, Director of Head and Neck Imaging, at
Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York–Presbyterian Hospital,
New York, NY. He is a member of the Applied Radiology Editorial