The breast imaging service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has started using artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the quality of mammograms. 

The technology, provided by Densitas IntelliMammo, ensure that any quality issues are flagged during a patient’s appointment to help reduce recall rate and improve accuracy of the image interpretation.

The technology will be implemented in both screening and symptomatic breast services and will deliver instantaneous feedback and AI-generated positioning information at the point the image is taken.

Dr Nisha Sharma, director of breast screening at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “Using AI will make a real difference to the quality of our breast screening program and ultimately to the health outcomes of women in Leeds. Here at the Leeds Breast Screening unit we are delighted to collaborate with Densitas and build on this foundation for future developments that will improve breast care.”

Canadian software company Densitas, worked with the team at Leeds to customise the software to ensure it would both meet the needs of the busy department and the required high standards of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

In addition to improving diagnostics, the AI software will also support the continuous improvement of staff in the busy service. Its advanced analytics surface any individual positioning trends that result in suboptimal image quality. By doing so, it supports trainee staff members at Leeds and improves overall efficiency of the service.

Maggie Fletcher, consultant radiographer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “The team have been very enthusiastic about the introduction of this technology and the difference it can make in terms of efficiency. We see thousands of patients every year for routine mammograms and hope that this will provide further reassurance of the quality of our service.”

The UK government’s 10-year national plan to tackle cancer included an increased focus on the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.