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Computers have come to play a large role in interpreting breast cancer test results. Many facilities now use this technology to help spot potentially harmful growths in medical images. However, a new study has found that computer-aided breast cancer testing may not deliver better results than simply having a human review the images.
For the study, researchers from the University of California, Davis analyzed 1.6 million breast cancer test results, some of which were interpreted with the help of computer programs. The findings showed that the technology failed to spot significant growths at a higher rate. Additionally, there was a higher risk of computers returning a false positive result.
The researchers said that computer-aided testing costs the healthcare system up to $30 million each year. Given the fact that their results show there is little benefit to using this technology, they questioned whether or not it is a worthwhile investment.
"As currently implemented in U.S. practice, computer aided detection appears to increase a woman's risk of being recalled for further testing after screening mammography while yielding equivocal health benefit," the researchers wrote in their report.
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