Leeds breast imaging service becomes first in UK to use new high-tech software to boost breast care and diagnosis

Women’s health in Leeds is set to be boosted after the city’s breast screening service becomes the first in the UK to use new, high-tech artificial intelligence software during mammograms.

By Joanna Wardill
Sunday, 13th February 2022, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 14th February 2022, 9:15 am

The technology aims to improve the quality of mammograms within the breast imaging service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be used in both the regular screening programme as well as symptomatic cases.

Created by Canadian software company Densitas, the artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been customised through talks with medics at the trust and will help enhance the accuracy of mammograms - improving diagnosis for women and reducing the need for patients to return to the department for further testing.

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Dr Nisha Sharma using the new artificial intelligence software.

Each year, the service, based at Seacroft Hospital, provides screening for over 150,000 women across Leeds, Wakefield and Pontefract at various sites and mobile mammography units throughout the county.

Dr Nisha Sharma, director of breast screening at the trust, said: “Using AI will make a real difference to the quality of our breast screening programme and ultimately to the health outcomes of women in Leeds.”

The technology will provide mammographers with instant feedback and AI-generated positioning information when the image is taken.

It has also been designed to provide extra support to trainee staff members as well as improving the efficiency at appointments in the busy service.

Maggie Fletcher, consultant radiographer at the trust, said: “The team have been very enthusiastic about the introduction of this technology and the difference it can make in terms of efficiency.

“We see thousands of patients every year for routine mammograms and hope that this will provide further reassurance of the quality of our service.”

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