Korean J Radiol.  2021 Mar;22(3):442-453. 10.3348/kjr.2021.0048.

Key Principles of Clinical Validation, Device Approval, and Insurance Coverage Decisions of Artificial Intelligence

  • 1Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Gastroenterology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Artificial intelligence (AI) will likely affect various fields of medicine. This article aims to explain the fundamental principles of clinical validation, device approval, and insurance coverage decisions of AI algorithms for medical diagnosis and prediction. Discrimination accuracy of AI algorithms is often evaluated with the Dice similarity coefficient, sensitivity, specificity, and traditional or free-response receiver operating characteristic curves. Calibration accuracy should also be assessed, especially for algorithms that provide probabilities to users. As current AI algorithms have limited generalizability to realworld practice, clinical validation of AI should put it to proper external testing and assisting roles. External testing could adopt diagnostic case-control or diagnostic cohort designs. A diagnostic case-control study evaluates the technical validity/ accuracy of AI while the latter tests the clinical validity/accuracy of AI in samples representing target patients in realworld clinical scenarios. Ultimate clinical validation of AI requires evaluations of its impact on patient outcomes, referred to as clinical utility, and for which randomized clinical trials are ideal. Device approval of AI is typically granted with proof of technical validity/accuracy and thus does not intend to directly indicate if AI is beneficial for patient care or if it improves patient outcomes. Neither can it categorically address the issue of limited generalizability of AI. After achieving device approval, it is up to medical professionals to determine if the approved AI algorithms are beneficial for real-world patient care. Insurance coverage decisions generally require a demonstration of clinical utility that the use of AI has improved patient outcomes.


Software validation; Device approval; Insurance coverage; Artificial intelligence
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