Finding a suitable artificial intelligence (AI) radiology partner requires foresight, consideration and a comprehensive checklist. There are factors that have to be addressed and considered before embarking on a long-term partnership with an AI radiology vendor. Not all AI radiology vendors are created equal, in fact, many do not offer the breadth of pathologies and modalities required by a thriving radiology department. You want a partner that offers you a solution that is not only relevant to your workflow today, but one that can evolve alongside your changing needs and environment of tomorrow.
Finding the right AI Radiology Partner
The reality is that radiology has become an increasingly critical component of medicine. The radiologist is under constant pressure to make faster decisions and to pull out salient information from the growing volumes of data and imagery. This is further complicated by shrinking budgets, changing legislation and deeper technology integration. The radiology department needs the support provided by AI – the technology offering a scalable and agile methodology for interpreting the data collaboratively alongside the professional – but it has to ensure that AI radiology companies check very specific boxes before they form a long-term partnership.
Check: Market Traction
Ensure that your AI radiology company has a proven track record in live clinical environments and has shown competence across results, workflows and organizations. The actual deployment should be developed on an established use case basis to reassure of capability and depth of modality.
Clinical validation is one of the most important elements to consider before investing in an AI partnership. It is critical that any AI vendor demonstrate data accuracy from the outset but this is only one part of the whole equation. The solution has to show measurable results within the clinical context.
Check: Regulatory Clearance
Regulatory clearances are mandatory for any clinical usage and testify to the quality of the solution alongside the technical maturity of the AI radiology vendor. You want to make sure that the vendor has either regulatory clearances already, or a plan that includes FDA or CE pending clearances.
Check: A Comprehensive Roadmap
You must also seriously consider the breadth and depth of pathologies and modalities that the AI radiology vendor has on offer. This will directly affect their relevance. A reliable AI radiology vendor should have a clearly defined roadmap that showcases its capabilities and outlines the pathologies it is planning on undertaking in the foreseeable future. The future-proof capabilities of an AI radiology vendor are a critical factor, especially for larger groups that require a partner that can evolve across multiple areas and locations.
Check: Development Velocity
Selecting an AI radiology partner requires that they provide a comprehensive portfolio whilst simultaneously investing in the platform by consistently validating and testing new algorithms and solutions.
Check: A Seamless User Experience
To maximize user adoption and usage, the AI solution has to be seamlessly integrated into existing workflows. This includes the ability to integrate across RIS and PACS from any vendor and minimal changes to the interface, platform and user experience. Work with an AI radiology partner that can demonstrate its ability to integrate with RIS and PACs across multiple systems and groups.
There is a significant difference between ‘always-on’ and ‘on-demand’ – the one delivers tangible productivity and efficiency gains while the other adds more admin. AI and CAD tools need to be constantly active in the background, delivering data seamlessly and enhancing radiologist capability and accessibility.
Check: A Straightforward Deployment Model
Your AI radiology deployment must adhere to industry standards, be scalable, not require any ‘tricks’ to get it working and be as straightforward as possible. This not only alleviates pressure but minimizes downtime and reduces risk.
Check: Customer Success
Perhaps, at the end of an exhaustive, yet essential, checklist, the most important factor to consider is customer support and engagement. Ticking the boxes of efficacy, productivity and scalability may well be an excellent step in the right direction but this level of partnership requires that the AI radiology company be as prepared to stay as they were to sell. Investing in this solution asks that your AI radiology partner be invested into growth, evolving alongside your requirements and market demands, and constantly innovating to ensure you are always ahead.