Canada is an innovative nation, which has emerged as a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL). Mobilizing fundamental AI and DL research for applications in medical imaging will define the way that the next generation of Canadians access and experience their healthcare.
Research is underway to make computers better at identifying patterns and making accurate predictions based on those patterns. This research has direct and immediate implications for medical imaging.
The CAR has established the AI Working Group with the stated mission to «discuss and deliberate on practice, policy, and patient care issues related to the introduction and implementation of AI mechanisms in imaging». This advisory working group will help ensure that the CAR remains actively involved in the discussions pertaining to the use of AI in imaging in Canada. It is the CAR’s firm belief that radiologists —as the experts in the use of imaging for diagnosis and treatment of disease— should be stakeholders in the development and implementation of data- and AI-driven systems that will be deployed in radiology departments.
The CAR also wants to work with the Federal Government to guide and facilitate the appropriate development and implementation of AI tools to enhance patient care delivered by radiologists.
Our Vision: Pan-Canadian AI Research Network for Medical Imaging
A collaboration with interdisciplinary stakeholders that will develop best practices for patient consent, enforcement of confidentiality, data ownership, and the application of technology for specific applications in the clinical workflow.
Medical imaging is uniquely positioned to lead the introduction and implementation of AI tools in medicine, and to ensure that the fundamental research is harnessed for better patient outcomes.
The Government must lead on setting standards for the interoperability of AI systems, while addressing regulatory and legal issues that accompany the use of AI in medicine. Small investments made now will have significant benefits to the Canadian AI ecosystem and the ability of that ecosystem to improve patient care.
Status of AI in medical imaging today:
Top 5 things to know
- Technological advancements facilitating AI application to healthcare
Recent developments in AI, combined with the availability of large datasets and increasing computer power have brought major performance breakthroughs in many fields, including image analysis and recognition. However, regulatory policy about the use of data within and across jurisdictions is needed in order to harness it for use in healthcare applications.
- Key driver of innovation and investments in Canada
The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) has previously supported research that has greatly advanced AI, in particular an approach known as deep learning, which has led to the resurgence of AI as a key driver of innovation and investments in Canada.
- Potential to assist physicians
With access to data, deep learning techniques may provide image recognition accuracy matching or even exceeding human experts in some scenarios, which has the potential to assist physicians in medical imaging.
- Canadian researchers have a potential competitive advantage
The integrated nature of the Canadian healthcare system makes it ideal for pooling anonymized medical data from several institutions or provinces, which is required to improve and validate AI tools for patient management. Data from single institutions may be insufficient to achieve high accuracy. This gives Canadian researchers and physicians a potential competitive advantage over those in other healthcare systems. However, this is dependent on governments establishing balanced regulations on the use of medical data for AI purposes.
- Canada is a potential leader in AI innovation
Canada is uniquely positioned on a number of fronts to be a global leader in the application of AI to healthcare with medical imaging already having tangible advances. There is tremendous potential to be a leader in healthcare innovation by leveraging recent advances in AI – including key contributions by Canadian researchers – together with the electronic healthcare infrastructure and imaging repositories previously funded by Canada Health Infoway.