The rise of artificial intelligence solutions in radiology departments in the Netherlands

K. van Leeuwen, M. de Rooij, S. Schalekamp, B. van Ginneken and M. Rutten

European Congress of Radiology 2022.

Purpose: There are over 180 CE-marked artificial intelligence (AI) products for radiology commercially available in Europe, but little is known about the current clinical use. We investigated the clinical use of commercial AI software in radiology departments in the Netherlands over a two-year period.

Methods: We consulted the radiology department of all hospital organizations in the Netherlands (n=69) in February-March 2020 (44 respondents) and February-March 2021 (37 respondents). A representative of the department was asked to fill in a questionnaire about the (planned) clinical use of CE marked AI products for radiology, the available funding for AI, and biggest obstacles for implementation.

Results: From 2020 to 2021 the percentage of respondents that desired the adoption of AI tools in radiology increased from 63% to 86%. In 2020, 14 responding organisations used AI in clinical practice, which increased to 23 (33% of all organizations) in 2021. The total number of AI implementations in clinical practice expanded by 157%, from 19 to 49 implementations. Also, the diversity increased from 8 to 32 unique products. In 2021, 35% of respondents had budgets allocated for AI implementations either on the departmental level or on the institutional level, which was 26% in 2020. The major obstacles for AI adoption shifted from difficulties with the technical integration (2020) to the lack of budgets and an unclear business case (2021). Technical integration remained the second most often listed obstacle.

Conclusion: AI adoption is gradually increasing in clinical radiology in the Netherlands. The number of radiology departments using AI has increased to at least a third of all organizations. Also, the number and diversity of AI applications per department grew substantially.

Limitations: Results may be influenced by a nonresponse bias.