Software developed with artificial intelligence technologies and used at a top hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, has the ability to read computer tomography images almost as accurately as an experienced physician.
The software - AlphaGo - can read a CT image and provide a result within five seconds. It is able to spot lung tumors with an accuracy rate of up to 90 percent, according to Xia Liming, director of radiology at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, which developed the software with an information technology company.
The software, which has a database containing more than 100,000 CT chest images, has been designed to perform logical analysis, which makes its interpretation of such images faster and more accurate than many physicians. Since it was introduced at the hospital in June, AlphaGo has become a useful aid for radiologists, according to Xia.
"A doctor needs more than 10 minutes to read a CT lung image, but the software only needs five seconds," he said. "It can also identify tumors smaller than 3 millimeters, which are invisible to the naked eye."
With the reference points provided by the software, the chances of misdiagnosis have been greatly reduced, he said.
In July, Alihealth, the medical arm of internet giant Alibaba, released an artificial intelligence system designed to help improve diagnosis.
The system, called Doctor You, can read CT lung images and highlight suspicious tumors for further inspection by physicians. The system is expected to be introduced to grassroots hospitals in more than 20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, according to the company.
Alihealth will also cooperate with local governments, hospitals and colleges to develop AI tools that will help medical professionals diagnose 20 chronic and common ailments, including diabetes and ocular problems, the company added.