Lawler scans AI potential as next RANZCR president

Former Pacific Radiology Group CEO Lance Lawler plans to address the potential effects of artificial intelligence on the profession during his two-year tenure as president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR), promising to promote the benefits of AI rather than the hype.

Pacific Radiology is one of 24 organisations worldwide that signed up in 2017 to take part in IBM's Watson Health collaborative to help develop cognitive computing tools in medical imaging.

Dr Lawler, an Otago University graduate and practising consultant radiologist, is the first Kiwi to serve as RANZCR president since 1995.

He said he expects to devote much of his term as president overseeing the implementation of RANZCR’s recently launched teleradiology standards and lobbying the Australian and New Zealand governments to improve access and affordability of healthcare for patients. He also committed to addressing the effect of AI on the profession.

"There is considerable hype about AI, with stories on how it will spell the end of human radiologists, mainly promoted by the technology makers themselves,” Dr Lawler said in a statement. “These stories distract us from the real benefits this technology brings, which are better tools to aid in faster and more accurate diagnoses.

"Technological innovation has been the history of radiology since the discovery of x-rays in 1895 and I believe AI will further improve the ability of radiologists to provide better care.

“However, this comes with a caveat. New technology needs all stakeholders to actively work together to both develop and improve it and lay the ground rules for how it can be applied.”

Posted in Movers and shakers


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