Speed Reads


AI software shows promising results in detecting breast cancer missed by doctors

In Hungary, early testing results show that artificial intelligence has an "impressive ability" to detect signs of breast cancer missed by doctors, The New York Times reports.

Dr. Edith Karpati, a radiologist, told the Times that when looking at hundreds of X-rays a day, "it's so easy to miss tiny lesions." Her son, Peter Kecskemethy, is the co-founder of Kheiron Medical Technologies, an AI software company that aims to assist doctors screening for breast cancer. The AI systems are fed millions of mammograms of patients whose diagnoses are known, as well as images labeled by radiologists to teach the AI to detect cancerous growths by their shapes, locations, and density, the Times reports. By then creating a mathematical representation of normal mammograms and those with cancers, the system compares that baseline to spot abnormalities in mammograms.

In 2022, after testing more than 275,000 breast cancer cases, Kheiron said its AI technology can spot cancer at least as well as doctors as the second reader of scans, and reduced the workload of radiologists by at least 30 percent. Additional testing at a clinic in Hungary found the AI software was able to identify more malignancies, increasing the cancer detection rate by 13 percent. "It's a huge breakthrough," Dr. András Vadászy, director of the MaMMA Klinika, told the Times. "If this process will save one or two lives, it will be worth it."

The technology is meant to be used alongside doctors, not to replace them, and more clinical trials are needed so the systems can produce accurate results on women of all ages, ethnicities, and body types.