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Sound of synergy: ultrasound and artificial intelligence in sports medicine
  1. Steven John Duhig1,
  2. Alec Kenneth McKenzie1,2
  1. 1School of Health Sciences and Social Work, Griffith University, Griffith University - Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Sports Performance Innovation and Knowledge Excellence (SPIKE), Queensland Academy of Sport, Nathan, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Steven John Duhig, School of Health Sciences and Social Work, Griffith University, Griffith University - Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland, Australia; s.duhig{at}griffith.edu.au

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Introduction

The confluence of ultrasound and artificial intelligence (AI) in sports medicine and allied health professions signifies a new epoch characterised by heightened diagnostic accuracy, reduced costs and improved patient accessibility.1 2

As this technology progresses, healthcare professionals must realise its current capabilities, future developments, essential preparedness, potential advantages and limitations. This commentary discusses the synergy between ultrasound and AI and the potential to shape the future of sports medicine, enhancing the quality of patient care.

Expanding ultrasound to allied health professionals

Ultrasound is a precise tool for characterising musculoskeletal conditions and can inform management. For example, in rotator cuff disorders, its use informs surgical decisions.3 Ultrasound predicts Achilles and patellar tendinopathy onset, facilitating early intervention.4 Furthermore, ultrasound-guided injections for hip osteoarthritis pain management are more accurate and cost-effective than landmark-guided injections.5 6

Incorporating AI ultrasound applications may reduce the need for extensive training and expertise to competently acquire high-quality images. As AI progresses, point-of-care ultrasound use might extend to other allied health professionals (eg, physiotherapists, exercise scientists and podiatrists), enabling more accessibility to scanning and within a reduced time frame, potentially after completing professional development short courses—provided automated diagnostic tools are validated for this use case.

Reducing technical skills required for reliable ultrasonography may raise concerns over professional boundaries and job security among sonographers. However, given the …

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Footnotes

  • X @duhigs, @a_k_mckenzie

  • Contributors SJD and AKM conceptualised and prepared the manuscript. ChatGPT (V.4.0) was asked to provide suggestions on whether readability of some sentences and paragraphs could be improved. This tool was also used minimally as a thesaurus.

  • Competing interests SJD was on a Fellowship with General Electric Healthcare during 2023. This editorial served as a vessel to share his opinions on the topic.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.