Despite the overall success of using artificial intelligence (AI) to assist radiologists in performing computer-aided patient diagnosis, it remains challenging to build good models with small datasets at individual sites. Because many medical images do not come with proper labelling for training, this requires radiologists to perform strenuous labelling work and to prepare the dataset for training. Placing such demands on radiologists is unsustainable, given the ever-increasing number of medical images taken each year. We propose an alternative solution using a relatively new learning framework. This framework, called federated learning, allows individual sites to train a global model in a collaborative effort. Federated learning involves aggregating training results from multiple sites to create a global model without directly sharing datasets. This ensures that patient privacy is maintained across sites. Furthermore, the added supervision obtained from the results of partnering sites improves the global model's overall detection abilities. This alleviates the issue of insufficient supervision when training AI models with small datasets. Lastly, we also address the major challenges of adopting federated learning.
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