Specialty-Oriented Generalist Medical AI for Chest CT Screening

Modern medical records include a vast amount of multimodal free text clinical data and imaging data from radiology, cardiology, and digital pathology. Fully mining such big data requires multitasking; otherwise, occult but important aspects may be overlooked, adversely affecting clinical management and population healthcare. Despite remarkable successes of AI in individual tasks with single-modal data, the progress in developing generalist medical AI remains relatively slow to combine multimodal data for multitasks because of the dual challenges of data curation and model architecture. The data challenge involves querying and curating multimodal structured and unstructured text, alphanumeric, and especially 3D tomographic scans on an individual patient level for real-time decisions and on a scale to estimate population health statistics. The model challenge demands a scalable and adaptable network architecture to integrate multimodal datasets for diverse clinical tasks. Here we propose the first-of-its-kind medical multimodal-multitask foundation model (M3FM) with application in lung cancer screening and related tasks. After we curated a comprehensive multimodal multitask dataset consisting of 49 clinical data types including 163,725 chest CT series and 17 medical tasks involved in LCS, we develop a multimodal question-answering framework as a unified training and inference strategy to synergize multimodal information and perform multiple tasks via free-text prompting. M3FM consistently outperforms the state-of-the-art single-modal task-specific models, identifies multimodal data elements informative for clinical tasks and flexibly adapts to new tasks with a small out-of-distribution dataset. As a specialty-oriented generalist medical AI model, M3FM paves the way for similar breakthroughs in other areas of medicine, closing the gap between specialists and the generalist.

Results in Papers With Code
(↓ scroll down to see all results)