Workflow Integration of Research AI Tools into a Hospital Radiology Rapid Prototyping Environment
The field of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging is undergoing explosive growth, and Radiology is a prime target for innovation. The American College of Radiology Data Science Institute has identified more than 240 specific use cases where AI could be used to improve clinical practice. In this context, thousands of potential methods are developed by research labs and industry innovators. Deploying AI tools within a clinical enterprise, even on limited retrospective evaluation, is complicated by security and privacy concerns. Thus, innovation must be weighed against the substantive resources required for local clinical evaluation. To reduce barriers to AI validation while maintaining rigorous security and privacy standards, we developed the AI Imaging Incubator. The AI Imaging Incubator serves as a DICOM storage destination within a clinical enterprise where images can be directed for novel research evaluation under Institutional Review Board approval. AI Imaging Incubator is controlled by a secure HIPAA-compliant front end and provides access to a menu of AI procedures captured within network-isolated containers. Results are served via a secure website that supports research and clinical data formats. Deployment of new AI approaches within this system is streamlined through a standardized application programming interface. This manuscript presents case studies of the AI Imaging Incubator applied to randomizing lung biopsies on chest CT, liver fat assessment on abdomen CT, and brain volumetry on head MRI.