European Congress of Radiology (ECR) is an annual international meeting for radiology experts, healthcare professionals and business executives. This year, it is being held in Vienna, Austria between 27 February and 3 March. Spanning over 26,000 meter-squared of exhibition space, this medical extravaganza is expecting near 27,000 delegates and 300 exhibitors from around the World. 

As AIMed prepares our very first AIMed Radiology event this June, the team did not miss the chance to speak with attendees and exhibitors at ECR 2019. All the more, our founder and chief intelligence and innovation officer of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Dr. Anthony Chang was part of a panel discussion took place this afternoon at the Digital Experience Hall hosted by Siemens Healthineers

AIMed founder spoke at a panel discussion on integrated diagnostics 

Entitled “Radiologists or clinical data scientists? Expanding precision medicine with AI-powered integrated diagnostics”, the dialogue was facilitated by Jörg Aumüller, vice president, global head of digitalizing healthcare marketing of Siemens Healthineers

Mainly, Dr. Chang reassured audience that radiologists will not lose their jobs in view of growing influence from artificial intelligence (AI). The trend will in fact, as Dr. Chang pointed out, creates more opportunities for radiologists. This is because while AI may perform better in areas like medical image interpretations and data analytics, it will never beat human counterparts in complex decision making and creativity. Dr. Chang back it up with a hilarious example depicting the inability of Computer Vision to differentiate muffins and Chihuahua. 

Dr. Anthony Chang pointed out a mistake Computer Vision made

Adhering to Dr. Chang’s speech, the other two panels speakers: Dr. Peter Chang, co-director at University of California Center for AI in diagnostic medicine and Dr. Daniel Rubin, professor of biomedical data science, radiology and medicine at Stanford University, also presented opportunities in radiology via the use of deep learning (DL) algorithm and how limitations of AI impact the role of radiologists in general. 

Left to right: Dr. Anthony Chang, Dr. Peter Chang, Jörg Aumüller and Dr. Daniel Rubin

To paint a bigger picture 

The panelists agreed the present challenge lies within the lack of adequate data infrastructure. This prevents the integration of data and AI, which permits accurate risk assessment, improves diagnostic decisions and enables personalized therapy decisions in the long run. As such, Dr. Chang urged clinicians to be in synergy with AI and start educating healthcare professionals with related knowledge. So that eventually, AI in a continuum will transform medicine to intelligence-based medicine. 

This is perhaps the kind of picture ECR is trying to paint this year. ECR 2019 marks the 25thanniversary of this yearly assembly and in its press release, the consortium put a particular emphasis on AI and new technology. Under the motto “the bigger picture”, ECR will like to converge elements from previous years and expand the field to more than just radiologists. 

That’s why apart from the main exhibition area, ECR 2019 has also dedicated a large area to showcase companies and institutes that make use of AI in radiology. Effort to host a holistic meeting can be seen everywhere within and beyond the exhibiting venue: Austria Centre Vienna. There is a series of talks parked under “Women in Focus”, which celebrates the achievements women had made in the area of radiology. An escape room to include the young enthusiasts and special brochures created to talk about the arts and culture. 

Please stay tune as AIMed brings you more stories from ECR 2019. Do follow us on Twitter, InstagramFacebook and Youtube for latest news. 

The article has been updated on 13 March 2019. 

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Hazel Tang

A science writer with data background and an interest in current affair, culture and arts; a no-med from an (almost) all-med family. Follow on Twitter.