MR Tech View: Will AI/ML Put My Job at Risk?
Vera Kimbrell1

1Brigham and Women's Hospital, United States


MR Technology and our mother modality Radiology are on the brink of significant change. Computer programming and hardware exist to automat many functions once done by technologists or physicians. We are grudging moving forward to embrace these improvements. Somewhat untrusting and with great trepidation we struggle to balance faster exam times, greater ancillary tasks and new technology. We must carefully but quickly earn these new skills and build new workflows in our departments. MR Technologists are very resilient and with proper education and support can make this new world a better one for our patients and ourselves.


Will AI or ML put my job in danger?

Vera Kimbrell BSRT R MR FSMRT ISMRM/SMRT Joint Session Paris 2018

Artificial Intelligence is a broad term that is defined as “Anything that perceives its environment and takes action to maximize it’s success. The term conjures images of computers that “think” for themselves and take over the universe as played out in Sci-fi movies. This perception is far removed from the actual implementation of artificial intelligence globally and specifically in healthcare today. This talk will focus on a narrower topic of Machine Learning in the MR Technologist arena. Technologists are in a very challenging position of needing to perform very complex tasks while juggling patient care and other ancillary responsibilities. If we can use the power of the computer to help us accomplish a portion of this work the end result is better patient care and a less frazzled MR technologist. There are many applications of machine learning from auto-fill texts on your cell phone to the ability of your MR scanner to recognize anatomy and accurately position slices to be scanned. The role of an MR technologist is in a state of growth and change. We have new technologies to add to our skill set and maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the role and let some things be done by the software provided. We worry that the loss of certain skill sets will make us obsolete but instead we are being challenged to acquire new skills and use our knowledge in different ways. The industry is on the cusp of very exciting new technology but we first have to let go of our fears and embrace the changes. Of course always keeping patient care and safety foremost in our minds. Specifically computer programs like “auto-align” are able to find landmarks and allow results that are more consistent. This is better for patients who follow-up care and treatment depends as accurate assessment of tumor size changes. Safety programs exist that can help up limit scan parameters in the area of implants to ensure safer scanning. Newer technology sculpts vessels and makes measurements that have previously taken hours of time by technologists. It’s a “Brave new world” and embracing it means letting the computers have a measure of control while we learn new skills. It’s uncomfortable for some of us but with training and support from our scientist and physicians we can make this next leap an encouraging step towards better patient outcomes and care.

Outline and Objectives

Outline and Objectives for AI/ML Talk Paris 2017 MR Technologist prospective


1. To define Artificial Intelligence as it relates to the Medical and specifically Radiology prospective 2. Give the audience both pros and cons of this technology

3. Relate what AI is doing for us today and what we might expect in the next few years


A. Artificial Intelligence

  • Definition
  • Medical uses
  • Future trends

B. Need for computing power and efficiency in medicine today

  • Power new pulse sequences
  • Enable faster and better scanning capabilities
  • Assist technologist with workflow
  • Network with other systems to promote efficiencies

C. Good and Bad AI trends

  • Allowing technologist more time for patient care
  • Enhancing consistency and reproducibility
  • Loss of control and understanding of technology
  • Potential for less time with individual patients

D. Change in the MR job title

  • Current state of the MR technologist job
  • Future applications brought on by new technology
  • Training and education needed to move forward
  • Acceptance of the new role


No acknowledgement found.


No reference found.
Proc. Intl. Soc. Mag. Reson. Med. 26 (2018)