Unlocking AI Transparency in Radiology: A New Era with AICentral.org

Dr. Christoph Wald

Christoph Wald, MD, PhD, MBA, FACR

Chair, ACR Commission on Informatics
Chair, Radiology, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
Burlington, MA 




The American College of Radiology (ACR) has significantly upgraded AICentral.org, making it the premier online resource for information on FDA-cleared imaging AI tools. With the groundbreaking new AICentral.org Transparent-AI initiative, radiologists now have access to an extensive array of details about AI algorithms like never before. The solicitation of this information from an increasing number of manufacturers is ongoing and growing over time. 

What is Transparent-AI?

The Transparent-Al initiative promotes transparency in imaging AI by soliciting and facilitating access to clear, standardized information about AI products. This program encourages imaging AI manufacturers with FDA-cleared products in the U.S. to voluntarily disclose data about the development and training of the algorithms. Participant vendors are recognized with a Transparent-Al badge, making it simple for users to identify those manufacturers who have responded to the call for more information. The program enables more streamlined product comparison and information accessibility, aiding radiologists in identifying suitable AI solutions for their patient populations without the need to consult multiple sources. This upfront clarity helps avoid potential implementation issues, ultimately saving time for medical professionals.

AI Central’s new interface streamlines AI adoption into practice – a practical example

For radiologists eager to incorporate clinical AI into their practice, AICentral.org acts as a comprehensive portal. It allows a streamlined review of AI options tailored to specific anatomical areas, subspecialties, or modalities through its interactive, graphical database search interface. This resource is designed to complement, not replace, direct engagement with manufacturers after radiologists identify a preliminary set of suitable AI tools through AI Central.
Let's take a closer look at how AI Central’s enhanced transparency benefits an imaging practice:

Imagine a practice seeking a suitable FDA-cleared AI algorithm to triage completed Head CT studies, looking for signs indicative of intracranial hemorrhage. Initially, they could turn to AICentral.org to identify which commercial offerings are available, utilizing the site's interactive tools to narrow down potential candidates. Suppose Algorithms A, B, and C from different companies fit the criteria. What sets AI Central apart now is the ability to delve into the specifics of each AI algorithm's training data, including detailed descriptions of machine and training cohorts, and comprehensive instructions for use—akin to a nutritional label for food or medication.

This depth of information empowers a practice to match AI algorithms to their specific environment more closely. It also provides the opportunity to examine training cohort demographics, offering insights into any inherent biases in the AI, which the practice can then address.

The platform also considers practical implementation aspects. It informs whether an algorithm is compatible with platforms the practice already uses, which can simplify subsequent testing and integration.

Continuing our hypothetical scenario, if the information about Algorithm B suggests it closely aligns with the practice’s current setup, the next logical step would be to explore this option further. It's crucial to understand that integrating a new AI tool into clinical practice should involve a trial period to ensure the product performs as expected with local data.

AICentral.org’s comprehensive data can guide practices on which scan or protocol parameters are critical for replicating the AI’s training performance. For example, aligning local imaging protocols with the AI's training conditions could enhance the likelihood of achieving similar success.

Once an AI solution, such as Algorithm B, is successfully integrated, the journey doesn't end there. The original data offered on AICentral.org is also relevant when considering which aspects of the incoming imaging data to monitor to maintain performance over time. This vigilance is key to managing the algorithm's performance stability, ensuring it remains a reliable clinical tool.

In summary, AICentral.org’s new approach to transparency isn't just about providing data—it’s about fostering an environment where informed decisions lead to successful AI integration in radiology practices. With this enhanced resource, radiologists are better equipped to select, trial, and implement AI solutions that are not only technically compatible but also ethically and practically appropriate for their unique clinical settings.

Unlocking AI Transparency in Radiology: A New Era with AICentral.org

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