Posted: 21st October 2020
Dr Davis McCarthy is one of seven recipients awarded a 2020 Ramaciotti Health Investment Grant, announced today.
The grants are awarded to autonomous early career scientists to support health or medical research with a potential path to clinical application within five years.
The grant will help progress an artificial intelligence project which Davis hopes will contribute to faster, cheaper and more accurate screening for breast cancer.
Along with a team including Dr Helen Frazer, Clinical Director at St Vincent’s BreastScreen, Davis is using machine learning to improve the analysis and interpretation of mammograms.
Their vision is to replace one of the initial two reads of each mammogram with a read done by artificial intelligence. With more accurate results delivered more quickly, they hope to reduce the burden on the individual as well as on the health-care system, which wastes considerable resources following up innocent abnormalities.
A key aspect of this work is that the algorithm is being designed in the Australian setting – training with machines and images that are relevant to Australian women.
The team are about to embark on this ‘real world ‘ study where they run their algorithm alongside the current system on the approximately 240 scans that are done each day at the BreastScreen clinic, over a period of 3 months. Their aim is to obtain a thorough and honest assessment of the model’s performance.
They then hope to develop the algorithm further so that it can provide an explanation of its prediction – for example, giving an annotated version of a mammogram with the cancerous region highlighted. They will go through iterations of this process until they are confident that the algorithm can be advanced to clinical use.