FDA Approves New AI Software for Fracture Detection

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. fracture / ˈfræk·ʧər / (n) – broken bone

    She got a fracture because of an accident.

  2. draw attention to (something) / drɔ əˈten·ʃən tu / (idiom) – to emphasize

    The medical software draws attention to body parts that need treatment.

  3. statistical / stəˈtɪstɪkəl / (adj) – based on numerical data

    A lot of medical experts rely on statistical data when coming up with medical records.

  4. diagnosis / ˌdɑɪ·ɪɡˈnoʊ·sɪs / (n) – a decision made about a person’s medical condition

    According to the doctor’s diagnosis, I am diabetic.

  5. up to speed / ʌp tu spid / (idiom) – being updated about something

    I read the news to make sure that I am always up to speed with the latest events.


Read the text below.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved an AI-generated software that identifies fractures.

Last May, the FDA announced that it is authorizing the use of OsteoDetect, a tool that examines X-ray images of adult wrists. The tool’s detection feature can spot signs of distal radius fracture, one of the most common types of wrist fracture.

The software analyzes the X-ray images by using machine learning techniques to draw attention to areas where the fracture is found. These techniques specifically apply statistical methods that allow computers to analyze data, identify patterns from them, and make predictions. With the aid of OsteoDetect, clinicians can make more accurate and quicker diagnoses.

Imagen Technologies, OsteoDetect’s developer, conducted two studies that tested the software’s helpfulness in wrist fracture diagnosis. Results of both studies showed an improvement in how wrist fractures were detected and diagnosed.

Despite its effectiveness, the software is not a replacement for a doctor’s expert advice. It serves only as an aid for medical experts in interpreting X-ray images.

The FDA’s approval of OsteoDetect suggests that the use of AI tools will be prevalent in the medical industry. Last April, the FDA also approved an AI-powered tool that detects diabetic retinopathy, an eye complication from diabetes.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that his organization is working to stay up to speed with the latest technology, such as AI. According to him, AI and machine learning hold a lot of potential for the future of medicine. Thus, the FDA aims to promote innovation by supporting more AI-based medical devices and ensuring that they are safe and effective.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that AI software like OsteoDetect cannot replace a doctor’s advice? Why or why not?
• What do you think are other benefits of using AI for medical tests? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think AI will also become more popular in other industries? Explain.
• If you could build an AI device, what would you want it to do? Explain.