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U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten Visit Highlights AI Breakthroughs in Breast Cancer Care at UM Health-West

U.S. Representative Hillary Scholten visited University of Michigan Health-West on March 14 to learn how artificial intelligence (AI) in enhancing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Scholten toured the Chris & Joan Panopoulos Imaging Center at the hospital’s main Wyoming campus and shared how her own health scare was alleviated by AI in healthcare.

The congresswoman’s interest in AI’s healthcare applications was sparked by a personal episode shortly after taking office in January 2023, when an AI-assisted mammography scan at George Washington University identified a benign fibroid in her breast. This encounter with AI’s diagnostic precision left an impression minimizing her anxiety through early and accurate detection.

“When anyone gets that ‘oh, there’s something to look at’ comment from the doctor, your heart stops, you get anxiety and you start imaging the worst-case scenario,” Scholten recalled. “They were able to say, ‘it’s most likely nothing’ because (the AI technology) had looked at tens of thousands, millions of images,” she told Dr. Trail. “Sure enough, I had a biopsy, and it was nothing—I slept better that night.”

UM Health-West radiologist, Dr. Mark Traill demonstrated the ProFound Risk AI software, a tool that is reshaping personalized risk assessments for breast cancer, leading to more effective and targeted care. 

“As a patient, you deserve to know, you should be empowered with as much information about what’s going on as you can possibly get, and in a format that’s actionable,” Dr. Traill said, illustrating how AI in mammography allows physicians and patients to make more informed, proactive approach to healthcare.

Dr. Lance Owens, University of Michigan Health’s regional chief medical information officer, also showcased the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) Copilot and how it enhances the patient-provider relationship allowing more personalized, eye-to-eye communication and streamlined documentation.

Related: U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten sees pioneering teamwork by Exalta Health and UM Health-West, connecting uninsured patients with cardiovascular experts

The advancements show how UM Health-West is guiding patients with the integration of AI technology, offering predictive analysis and even reassurance as they navigate the complexities of healthcare.

“Patient peace of mind is a huge component of this AI mammography technology,” Scholten said.