Methodist in the Media
'Now You're Like Your Patients': AI Helps Diagnose Nebraska Oncology Nurse's CancerPublished: Nov. 9, 2023
Since 2021, Methodist has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence, notably in their pulmonary critical care unit.
"I don't think [AI] is scary," said Dr. Adam Wells, a pulmonary critical care physician. "I think it's exciting."
In 2021, Methodist started its incidental lung nodule program, which is powered by an AI program called LungGPS.
"It just exploded," Wells said. "It was like drinking through a fire hose."
The AI combs through tens of thousands of scans a year and looks for ones where a radiologist noted a lung nodule.
"If it catches a keyword, it flags it and sends it to our clinic," Wells said.
In the summer of 2022, Kathryn Bartz, Methodist's oncology research program manager, went to her primary care doctor for some radiating pain on her left side. She went in for a scan.
"At the scan, they found these incidental nodules," she said. "It was completely unrelated and on the other side."
But LungGPS flagged the keyword in the radiologist's report, which sent it to the pulmonary care staff. Remember, the nodules were unrelated to Bartz's reason for the check-up.
It ensured Bartz had a follow-up scan three months later.
"We did and it came back positive," Bartz said. "After the fact, it was like, 'you have cancer, and now you're like your patients.' It's not like I couldn't relate to them before, but I can really relate to them now."
Wells diagnosed Bartz with stage 1 lung cancer.
KETV: 'Now You're Like Your Patients': AI Helps Diagnose Nebraska Oncology Nurse's Cancer