AI medical assistants

Arterys AI

Emerging AI could help improve analysis and treatment in the medical field.

Radiologists -- who use medical images like X-rays and ultrasounds to diagnose and treat patients -- are already getting some help from AI. For example, medical imaging startup Arterys' Cardio AI tool measures blood flow and the volume of the cardiac muscles in the heart's ventricles in seconds. The process takes a human radiologist about 45 minutes.

Although there are only a handful of FDA-cleared systems like this in use, it raises questions about whether radiologists will be needed in the future.

"There's a misunderstanding that AI software will take over everything the radiologist does," said Carla Leibowitz, head of corporate development at Arterys. "Radiologists will still make judgment calls."

The growth of this type of technology could allow clinicians to spend more time on assessing new medicine than on routine work.

AI is also being applied in pathology for cancer diagnosis and treatment, and in ophthalmology to detect eye disease.

CNNMoney's Matt McFarland contributed reporting.

First published May 4, 2018: 10:22 AM ET

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