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Artificial intelligence in medical imaging practice in Africa: a qualitative content analysis study of radiographers’ perspectives

Antwi, W. K., Akudjedu, T. N. & Ohene-Botwe, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-0477-640X (2021). Artificial intelligence in medical imaging practice in Africa: a qualitative content analysis study of radiographers’ perspectives. Insights into Imaging, 12(1), article number 80. doi: 10.1186/s13244-021-01028-z


PURPOSE: Studies have documented the clinical potentials of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging practice to improving patient care. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the perception of radiographers relating to the integration of AI in medical imaging practice in Africa.

METHODS: The study employed a qualitative design using an open-ended online instrument administered between March and August 2020. Participants consisted of radiographers working within Africa during the time of the study. Data obtained were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Six themes of concerns were generated: expectant tool; career insecurity; cost of new technology, equipment preservation and data insecurity; service delivery quality; need for expanding AI awareness.

RESULTS: A total of 475 valid responses were obtained. Participants demonstrated a positive outlook about AI in relation to clinical quality improvement, competent diagnosis, radiation dose reduction and improvement in research. They however expressed concerns relating to the implementation of this technology, including job security and loss of core professional radiographer skills and roles. In addition, concerns regarding AI equipment maintenance, lack of awareness about AI and education and training opportunities were evident.

CONCLUSION: Awareness of the importance of AI in medical imaging practice was acknowledged; however, concerns relating to job security, data protection must be given critical attention for successful implementation of these advanced technologies in medical imaging in Africa. Inclusion of AI modules in the training of future radiographers is highly recommended.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13244-021-01028-z.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Medical imaging; Radiography; Africa; Online surveys; Qualitative study
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
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