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An artificial intelligence (AI) system for breast cancer screening outperformed radiologists in a recent study in Nature. The technique spotted more cancers and raised fewer false alarms.
Researchers at Google Health and collaborators developed a deep-learning AI model for identifying breast cancer using screening mammograms from 2 large UK and US data sets. The test sets, which were not used to train or tune the system, included scans from 25 856 women at 2 screening centers in England and 3097 women at a US academic medical center.
The researchers evaluated the AI system’s cancer predictions and clinical radiologists’ original decisions based on biopsy-confirmed breast cancer outcomes. In the US data set, the system produced 5.7% fewer false-positives and 9.4% fewer false-negatives than radiologists. The system also performed better on average than 6 US board-certified radiologists in a separate comparison involving 500 randomly selected mammograms from the US test set. Notably, most of the cancers identified only by the AI system were invasive.
Abbasi J. Artificial Intelligence Improves Breast Cancer Screening in Study. JAMA. 2020;323(6):499. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0370
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