section content

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quite a buzzword these days, with AI technology increasingly being applied to all aspects of information technology, affecting every corner of our day-to-day lives, including veterinary diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology.

Veterinary medicine, including veterinary diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology, is no exception. Advances in data processing now mean that enormous amounts of visual data can be processed and analyzed as never before. Artificial intelligence techniques are being actively developed and implemented in veterinary radiology, namely for improving the quality of our diagnostic images, the efficiency of our workflow and the way the images of our patients are interpreted.  Specific applications are also on the horizon in veterinary radiation oncology for treating our cancer patients.

How will artificial intelligence affect veterinary radiology and radiation oncology?

The ACVR and ECVDI recently held a series of expert panel discussions to evaluate the impact that artificial intelligence will have and is already having on our specialties. Panelists included veterinary radiologists, veterinary radiation oncologists and medical physicists in academia and private practice, all actively involved in the development of artificial intelligence applications. Comparisons were drawn with the development of artificial intelligence in human radiology. Challenges and benefits to the responsible implementation of artificial intelligence in our profession were also addressed. A summary of the discussions is available here and the complete report is available here.

A number of priorities have been identified, understanding that The ACVR and ECVDI are certification entities and professional organizations, not regulatory bodies. Our strongest role with regards to the advent of AI in veterinary radiology is to maximize our involvement as experts and educators.

How can the ACVR and ECVDI promote the responsible development of AI applications in veterinary radiology/radiation oncology?

  1. Improve diplomate and trainee literacy with regards to AI applications and development
  2. Communicate and represent expertise in AI in veterinary radiology;
  3. Facilitate networking and collaboration between veterinary radiologists/oncologists and other expert groups in AI;
  4. Facilitate AI research and development by veterinary radiologists/oncologists.

In light of these priorities, several actions have been undertaken, namely:

  • Creation of the ACVR/ECVDI Artificial Intelligence Education and Development Committee. This committee’s goals are to promote the education of veterinarians (radiologists, other specialists and general practitioners) in artificial intelligence and to guide best practices for the development and validation of artificial intelligence applications in veterinary diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology.
  • Development of a repository of educational resources for veterinary radiologists, available here.
  • Drafting of a supplemental edition of Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound dedicated to artificial intelligence, with publication expected in 2022.
  • Presentations on artificial intelligence at upcoming scientific conferences, namely the 2021 ACVR Scientific Meeting in New Orleans.

The advent of artificial intelligence in veterinary radiology and radiation oncology is rapidly evolving. Please visit this page regularly for updates on the ACVR and ECVDI’s continued involvement in AI education and expertise.