The aim is to reduce the time it takes to generate the outlines on medical images of healthy organs, known as ‘contours’, that are used to target treatment to the tumour only and protect healthy tissues. The use of AI could save time and money, helping to relieve pressure on stretched radiography services, and allow clinicians to spend more time with patients or concentrate their efforts on cases that require complex planning.
At the moment, radiographers outline organs by hand, and the guidance estimates that using AI could carve between three and 80 minutes off a treatment plan, without sacrificing the quality of the resulting contour diagrams. The AI-generated contours would still need to be reviewed by a trained professional.
As colleagues working on the front line in radiotherapy departments are under severe pressure, with thousands of people waiting for scans. The role imaging plays in radiotherapy treatment planning is quite pivotal, so recommending the use of AI technologies to help support treatment planning alongside clinical oversight by a trained healthcare professional could save both time and money.