Are radiologists witnessing the rise of the machines?

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Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are two boogeymen that radiologists often hear will be coming for their jobs. While the industry will change as technology allows for improvements in efficiency and computer-aided work, is it time to prepare for the robot-delivered pink slip?

Changes on the horizon will be significant, according to one industry leader.

"This is going to be transformational," said Keith Dreyer, vice chairman of radiology computing and information sciences at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Every month there's going to be a new algorithm that we're going to use and integrate into our solutions. When you look back we'll say, 'How did I ever live without this?'"

But radiologists will always be needed. The human element of the job is not something that can be programmed into a computer.

"There's a misunderstanding that someone can program a bot that will take over everything the radiologist does," said Carla Leibowitz, head of strategy and marketing at Arterys. "Radiologists still use the product and still make judgment calls. [We're] trying to make products to make their lives easier."

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