News | Artificial Intelligence | February 25, 2019

RANZCR Unveils New Artificial Intelligence Guidelines for Healthcare

Association of Australia and New Zealand radiologists taking feedback on guidelines for appropriate use of AI and machine learning to drive better patient care

RANZCR Unveils New Artificial Intelligence Guidelines for Healthcare

February 26, 2019 — Hospitals and healthcare practices will be supported in the correct use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technology after the development of new guidelines by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR).

RANZCR’s draft Ethical Principles for AI in Medicine outline the most appropriate use of AI and machine learning (ML), including how both can successfully help drive even better patient care.

The eight principles, which are now out for public consultation, are believed to be the first of their kind devised by a professional healthcare body and will also include detail on how AI and ML can be used to ensure the protection of patient data and balanced with the application of humanitarian values.

“New technologies such as AI are having a huge impact on healthcare, with enormous implications for both health professionals and patients,” RANZCR President Lance Lawler, MB, ChB, said. “They have the ability to help doctors work in a more time-efficient and effective manner and, ultimately, provide even greater treatment for patients.

"There are millions of scans such as ultrasound and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] performed in Australia each year, underlining the critical role imaging plays in healthcare. How radiology adapts to AI will have flow-on effects for patients and other healthcare professionals, which is why it was important for RANZCR to develop these principles,” Lawler continued.

“The agreed principles will, when established, complement existing medicinal ethical frameworks, but will also provide doctors and healthcare organisations with guidelines regarding the research and deployment of ML systems and AL tools in medicine,” he concluded.

The principles have been developed by RANZCR’s AI Working Group, which was established to assess how best to harness the growing impact of AI and ML on medicine with an emphasis on radiology and radiation oncology.

"There's lots of hype and misinformation around AI,” Lawler said. “It is important to look beyond that and concentrate on the important issue — how we can best use it for the maximum benefit of patients.” Lawler noted that as well as forming the AI Working Group, RANZCR also hosted the inaugural Intelligence18 summit, on AI in healthcare, Nov. 21, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.

The draft principles are available to view via the RANZCR website and the association welcomes feedback. The ethical principles will also help RANZCR develop a set of professional standards for the use of AI and ML in radiology and radiation oncology. These standards will be available in due course.

The consultation closes on April 26, 2019 and can be read here.

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