Radiologists at Innsbruck university use decision support tool to detect, visualise and quantify lung anomalies

Radiologists assessing lung CT scans are increasingly finding support in new technologies. SEARCH Lung CT from contextflow is a clinical decision support system that detects, visualises and quantifies lung anomalies and pulmonary nodules.

“In detail, it provides location and extent of changes and heat maps for six image patterns, as well as visualisations and measurements of detected pulmonary nodules,” said chief product officer Markus Krenn. “In addition, the tool analyses and classifies 19 image patterns in selected regions of a scan; retrieves visually similar, expert- verified reference cases; and provides relevant links to literature, guidelines and differential diagnoses.”

Since October last year, a team of radiologists at Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, led by managing senior physician Dr Gerlig Widmann, has been using SEARCH Lung CT. “We expect significant added value for our work and the patients, particularly on account of the system’s ability to quantify lung anomalies. The software provides us with percentages of pathological changes, visualises the dynamics of these changes over time and suggests reference cases with similar findings and diagnostic literature for differential diagnosis,” he explained.

First experiences with SEARCH Lung CT have been positive, according to Dr Widmann: “The segmentation of abnormalities such as shadows, reticular patterns or emphysema works extremely well. The platform is very clearly structured with references to current literature, including pattern description and a list of possible differential diagnoses. You can clearly see that there is a valid reference data set behind the AI.”

Dr Widmann also expects to be able to establish a diagnosis more quickly: in a recent study at the Medical University of Vienna, the average report reading time was 31 per cent shorter when SEARCH Lung CT was available for use. These findings were true for both new and experienced radiologists.

The clinical decision support software is seamlessly integrated into the hospital’s PACS. A radiologist wishing to use SEARCH Lung CT clicks one button to continue working with the tool. Images are then automatically evaluated and transferred to the report.

Picture: SEARCH Lung CT analyses and classifies 19 image patterns in selected regions of a scan.

Published on page 21 of the March 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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