Artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving in the field of diagnostic medical imaging, including echocardiography. Although the dynamic nature of echocardiography presents challenges beyond those of static images from X-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and radioisotope imaging, AI has influenced all steps of echocardiography, from image acquisition to automatic measurement and interpretation. Considering that echocardiography often is affected by inter-observer variability and shows a strong dependence on the level of experience, AI could be extremely advantageous in minimizing observer variation and providing reproducible measures, enabling accurate diagnosis. Currently, most reported AI applications in echocardiographic measurement have focused on improved image acquisition and automation of repetitive and tedious tasks; however, the role of AI applications should not be limited to conventional processes. Rather, AI could provide clinically important insights from subtle and non-specific data, such as changes in myocardial texture in patients with myocardial disease. Recent initiatives to develop large echocardiographic databases can facilitate development of AI applications. The ultimate goal of applying AI to echocardiography is automation of the entire process of echocardiogram analysis. Once automatic analysis becomes reliable, workflows in clinical echocardiographic will change radically. The human expert will remain the master controlling the overall diagnostic process, will not be replaced by AI, and will obtain significant support from AI systems to guide acquisition, perform measurements, and integrate and compare data on request.
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© 2021 Korean Society of Echocardiography.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine