Hundreds of imaging-based artificial intelligence (AI) models have been developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AI systems that incorporate imaging have shown promise in primary detection, severity grading, and prognostication of outcomes in COVID-19, and have enabled integration of imaging with a broad range of additional clinical and epidemiologic data. However, systematic reviews of AI models applied to COVID-19 medical imaging have highlighted problems in the field, including methodologic issues and problems in real-world deployment. Clinical use of such models should be informed by both the promise and potential pitfalls of implementation. How does a practicing radiologist make sense of this complex topic, and what factors should be considered in the implementation of AI tools for imaging of COVID-19? This critical review aims to help the radiologist understand the nuances that impact the clinical deployment of AI for imaging of COVID-19. We review imaging use cases for AI models in COVID-19 (e.g., diagnosis, severity assessment, and prognostication) and explore considerations for AI model development and testing, deployment infrastructure, clinical user interfaces, quality control, and institutional review board and regulatory approvals, with a practical focus on what a radiologist should consider when implementing an AI tool for COVID-19.
- artificial intelligence