JFR: French AI initiative to play major role in algorithm validation

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The French national radiology congress (JFR) kicked off officially on Friday with a strengthened focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The discussion included an update on an ambitious project to create a national ecosystem in France for AI algorithm development.

Speaking at the AI teaching session "AI: What dynamics in 2019?" Dr. Jean-Paul Beregi, head of imaging at Nȋmes university hospital, updated delegates on the current status of France's new DRIM France IA imaging initiative, a nonprofit, independent AI ecosystem.

The project has advanced significantly since it was announced last October, according to Beregi. The ecosystem now has a scientific committee and a charter, and is looking at how to move forward with institutional partners.

"We are now at the stage of being able to assess the roles and contributions of other actors," Beregi noted.

It is hoped that DRIM France will be sufficiently established to serve as a neutral testing platform for private startups or public hospitals wanting to validate their algorithms on a concrete database as early as 2020, according to Beregi.

In addition, DRIM France is likely to play a more major role in next year's Big Data Challenge at JFR 2020, with the aim of expanding the competition to include AI's impact on questions relating not just to pathology but also to dose, pertinence, and prognosis. Teams will have access to other nonimage information on clinical indication, biology, dose, and patient history taken from RIS and PACS.

The current JFR data challenge event starts today with 18 teams. They have until Sunday evening to submit their findings using their own algorithms. This year the database contains 4,500 CT and MR images across the three topics of lung nodules, multiple sclerosis, and sarcopenia.

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