Tech Tuesday: AI could detect breast cancer earlier than current tech

Tech Tuesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For this week’s Tech Tuesday, researchers are revealing a new diagnostic tool in the battle against breast cancer.

While mammograms have long been considered the gold standard in breast cancer detection, a new technology developed by MIT professor Regina Barzeli and her student could soon change how women check their health.

It’s called MIRAI, an artificial intelligence that doctors say can see beyond what the human eye can detect on mammograms and determine if a patient is at risk up to five years earlier.

“The way you train the machine it’s in a very similar way as your iPhone is trained to identify your face. You just give it a lot of examples of images with known outcomes and the machine is trained to kind of correlate the distribution of pixels to predict the future to tell who is likely to get breast cancer,” said MIT Professor Dr. Regina Barzilay.

The technology is still in development and undergoing medical trials.

Regina even uses her own mammograms to test the accuracy of the technology.

She scanned her first mammogram from 2012. From that picture, the AI determined that she was at high risk, something her doctors didn’t identify until 2014.

In other trials, the MIRAI was correct about 76% of the time. This could affect millions of people who may receive an earlier diagnosis.

“You can assess what’s to come and then you can rearrange, reorient yourself and some of it can be medication, some will be changing your lifestyle,” said Barzilay. “If this technology is used in the uniform way, we can identify earlier who are high risk patients and intervene. “The earlier the cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat it and the outcome is so much better.”

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