Wien, 25.02.2019 Radiology congress with more than 25,000 participants in Vienna:
is artificial intelligence poised to replace doctors?

ECR 2019, Austria Center Vienna Bild vergrößern

Artificial intelligence plays a part in many aspects of our lives and is increasingly playing a supporting role in the world of medicine. The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) – one the world’s largest medical conferences – is devoting an entire section to the field of artificial intelligence. The event takes place at the Austria Center Vienna for the 25th time this year, from 27 February to 3 March.

“In the German speaking world, switching to the term Radiologe, meaning radiologist, in place of Röntgenarzt, or X-ray specialist, meant that fewer people were able to picture what our extremely diverse field was actually about,” explained Prof. Andrea Maier, general radiology and paediatric radiology specialist at the Medical University of Vienna. Radiological imaging covers everything from ultrasound and X-rays to computed tomography (CT) scans and magnet resonance imaging (MRI) and is used to diagnose a broad range of illnesses and conditions including vascular disease, gastro-intestinal conditions and broken bones. It also extends to procedures such as mammograms and lung screening, and diagnosing various forms of cancer. And all of these procedures produce large amounts of data. 

Use of artificial intelligence
Computer aided diagnosis (CAD) systems are already being used to analyse these large volumes of data. CAD is able to identify potential abnormalities by comparing patient images with a repository of database images. These programs are constantly learning, as new data is added all the time, and are already being used to successfully pinpoint signifiers such as polyps which can be a precursor to intestinal cancer. However, these systems will never be able to replace qualified doctors, as Prof. Maier explained: “While CAD systems provided us with important pointers, giving a diagnosis is always the job of the radiologist. Intelligent technology is only as good as the people operating it.”

ECR 2019 – Women in Focus
Female radiologists are another focus of this year’s ECR: the Women in Focus programme revolves around female leadership behaviours and the challenges facing women working in medicine. “After more than 30 years in the industry I have to say that this focus is very welcome, and sadly still necessary. Although a great deal has changed as far as everyday clinical practice is concerned, there are still significant disparities when it comes to career development,” Prof. Maier concluded. 


Press release

Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna (ACV). The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre, with 24 halls, 180 meeting rooms, and some 22,000m² of exhibition space, and is one of the top players on the international conference circuit. 

IAKW-AG – Austria Center Vienna
Carina Fuchs
Deputy press officer
Tel: +43-676-84 565 33 32