STAT+: As more never-smokers develop lung cancer, researchers test an AI model to predict patient risk

“This tool is giving you a heads-up that this little thing you see is actually going to be a tumor,” said Robert Smith of the American Cancer Society.

Massachusetts General Hospital is launching a prospective trial of an artificial intelligence tool designed to predict patients’ risk of lung cancer, a crucial area of inquiry amid a rising incidence of the disease in never-smokers.

The trial, to begin later this year, will test the accuracy and usefulness of an AI system the hospital developed with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jameel Clinic. The tool stands out from a crowd of similar models in that it predicts a patient’s cancer risk over six years by analyzing a single low-dose CT scan — without the use of other demographic or medical information, or a radiologist’s annotation.

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