Chest CT AI Efficiency

A new AJR study out of the Medical University of South Carolina showed that Siemens Healthineers’ AI-RAD Companion Chest CT solution significantly reduced radiologists’ interpretation times. Considering that radiologist efficiency is often sacrificed in order to achieve AI’s accuracy and prioritization benefits, this study is worth a deeper look.

MUSC integrated Siemens’ AI-RAD Companion Chest CT into their PACS workflow, providing its radiologists with automated image analysis, quantification, visualization, and results for several key chest CT exams.

Three cardiothoracic radiologists were randomly assigned chest CT exams from 390 patients (195 w/ AI support), finding that the average AI-supported interpretations were significantly faster. . .

  • For the combined readers – 328 vs. 421 seconds 
  • For each individual radiologist – 289 vs. 344; 449 vs. 649; 281 vs. 348 seconds
  • For contrast-enhanced scans – 20% faster
  • For non-contrast scans – 24.2% faster
  • For negative scans – 26.4% faster
  • For positive scans without significant new findings – 25.7% faster
  • For positive scans with significant new findings – 20.4% faster

Overall, the solution allowed a 22.1% average reduction in radiologist interpretation times, or an hour per typical workday.

The authors didn’t explore the solution’s impact on radiologist accuracy, noting that AI accuracy has already been covered in plenty of previous studies. In fact, members of this same MUSC research team previously showed that AI-RAD Companion Chest CT identified abnormalities more accurately than many of its radiologists.

The Takeaway

Out of the hundreds of AI studies we see each year, very few have tried to measure efficiency gains and even fewer have shown that AI actually reduces radiologist interpretation times.
Given the massive exam volumes that radiologists are facing and the crucial role efficiency plays in AI ROI calculations, these results are particularly encouraging, and suggest that AI can indeed improve both accuracy and efficiency.

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-- The Imaging Wire team