Who Owns LVO AI?

The FDA’s public “reminder” that studies analyzed by AI-based LVO detection tools (CADt) still require radiologist interpretation became one of hottest stories in radiology last week, and although many of us didn’t realize, it made a big statement about how AI-based coordination is changing the way care teams and radiologists work together.

The FDA decided to issue this clarification after finding that some providers were using LVO AI tools to guide their stroke treatment decisions and “might not be aware” that they need to base those decisions on radiologist interpretations. The agency reiterated that these tools are only intended to flag suspicious exams and support diagnostic prioritization, revealing plans to work with LVO AI vendors to make sure everyone understands radiologists’ role in these workflows. 

This story was covered in all the major radiology publications and sparked a number of social media discussions with some interesting theories:

  • One social post suggested that the FDA is preemptively taking a stand against autonomous AI
  • Some posts and articles wondered if AI might be overly-influencing radiologists’ diagnoses
  • The Imaging Wire didn’t even mention care coordination until a reader emailed with a clarification and we went back and edited our initial story

That reader had a point. It does seem like this is more of a care coordination issue than an AI diagnostics issue, considering that:

  • These tools send notifications and images to interventionalist/surgeons before radiologists are able to read the same cases
  • Two of the three leading LVO AI care coordination tools are marketed to everyone on the stroke team except radiologists (go check their sites)
  • Before AI care coordination came along, it would have been hard to believe that stroke team members “might not be aware” that they needed to check radiologist interpretations before making care decisions

The Takeaway

LVO AI care coordination tools have been a huge commercial and clinical success, and care coordination platforms are quickly expanding to new use cases.

That seems like good news for emergency patients and care teams, but as the FDA reminded us last week, it also means that we’re going to need more safeguards to ensure that care decisions are based on radiologists’ diagnoses — even if the AI tool already informed care teams what the diagnosis might be.

Viz.ai’s Care Coordination Expansion

Viz.ai advanced its care coordination strategy last week, launching new Pulmonary Embolism and Aortic Disease modules, and unveiling its forthcoming Viz ANX cerebral aneurysm module.

PE & Aortic Modules – The new PE and Aortic modules use AI to quickly detect pulmonary embolisms and aortic dissection in CTA scans, and then coordinate care using Viz.ai’s 3D mobile viewer and clinical communications workflows. It appears that Viz.ai partnered with Avicenna.AI to create these modules, representing a logical way for Viz.ai to quickly expand its portfolio.

Viz ANX Module – The forthcoming Viz ANX module will use the 510k-pending Viz ANX algorithm to automatically detect suspected cerebral aneurysms in CTAs, and then leverage the Viz Platform for care coordination.

Viz.ai’s Care Coordination Strategy – Viz.ai called itself “the leader in AI-powered care coordination” a total of six times in these two announcements, and the company has definitely earned this title for stroke detection/coordination. Adding new modules to the Viz Platform is how Viz.ai could earn “leadership” status across all other imaging-detected emergent conditions.

The Takeaway – Viz.ai’s stroke detection/coordination platform has been among the biggest imaging AI success stories, making its efforts to expand to new AI-based detection and care coordination areas notable (and pretty smart). These module launches are also an example of diagnostic AI’s growing role throughout care pathways, showing how AI can add clinical value beyond the reading room.

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-- The Imaging Wire team