French radiologists behind on AI but eager to learn more

Radiology, the medical specialty into which AI has made the furthest initial inroads in the U.S., is embracing the technology in France. And this is so despite French radiologists feeling underinformed on AI up to now.

That’s according to a survey of several hundred French radiologists published online May 6 in Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging.

Senior study author Thibaut Jacques, MD, MSc, of the University of Lille and colleagues emailed a 42-question survey to more than 600 radiologists and radiology residents in their region. The recipients represented private as well as public institutions.

The researchers’ outreach brought back completed forms from 270 radiologists (200 senior physicians and 70 residents), for a very robust response rate of close to 44%.

Analyzing the results, the team found nearly three-quarters (73.3%) of respondents indicated they had received insufficient previous information on AI.

However, the vast majority, 94.4%, said they would consider attending a generic CME course on AI—and 70% are open to receiving technically advanced training.

Meanwhile 79.3% believe AI will have a positive impact on their future practice.

Drilling down into the latter section, 81% said their highest expectations for AI’s positive impact involve reducing imaging-related medical errors.

This was followed by cutting image-interpretation times (74.4%) and increasing time spent with patients (52.2%).

“Our results clearly show that there is an ongoing lack of training and information about AI among French radiologists, despite the tremendous increase in scientific publications,” Jacques et al. wrote in their discussion. “The overflow of information and the fast evolution in this field could paradoxically be discouraging individual radiologists, especially those who think that a strong technical background is required.”

Commenting on the responding radiologists’ strong willingness to receive basic or even advanced training in AI should it become available, they said the survey results “show once again the radiologists’ interest towards new technologies and their wish to evolve with their time.”