Dr Diagnosis Could Be A Thing Of The Past With AI

24 Oct

Gone are the days where technology was simply transforming the way we communicate. Now, with advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications, machines are able to diagnose certain health conditions just as effectively as a human can!

What makes medical AI systems able to do this is a process called “deep learning”. An advanced branch of computer science, deep learning uses examples to teach the machine to learn and understand complex forms of data. AI systems that make use of deep learning are able to use sound, sight and written data to perceive the world as a human does. For many, this is a scary concept, but in the technological world, this is a major step for mankind.

While we certainly aren’t suggesting that your local doctor will be replaced by a robot, we are saying that AI could very well be used to provide much needed support to doctors and other health care professionals. While your treatment will still be carried out by medical doctors, your diagnosis could be easily reached with the help of AI. In fact, medical AI has already effectively diagnosed skin cancer, diabetic eye disease and arrhythmia.

How Medical AI Will Interact With Human Patients In The Future

There are 3 main ways in which human patients can expect to interact with AI in the future.

  • Test reports provided by specialised AI equipment. In this instance, patients will make an appointment as per normal and have the tests carried out by specialised AI equipment, with medical professionals present. The required report will then be generated, such as in the case of diabetic eye disease diagnosis. The medical AI used is designed to recognise the type of blood vessels and cells present in such a condition.
  • Diagnosis provided solely by medical AI apps. There are various mobile apps that currently provide health care or medical advice. The skin cancer detector app being developed by the research team at Stanford is one that holds great potential. This app will allow patients to take photos of their own skin and will then accurately analyse the skin for cancer. It is the first app of its kind that promises equal accuracy in analysing your skin, to the diagnosis of your dermatologist!
  • Medical wearables to minimise patient-doctor interaction. This type of AI interaction could be used for patients with heart conditions. The wearable will track and monitor the heart’s patterns until such time as there is an irregularity detected. When this happens, the patient and doctor can both be notified.

The Pros and Cons Of Medical Artificial Intelligence

The fact that AI never needs to sleep or take a holiday could mean that medical care becomes more readily available and affordable to everyone. As these systems are cost-effective to run and simply need an internet connection, AI is a good option for health care facilities where long queues and under-staffing can impact negatively on patient care. In some medical clinics in India, various forms of AI are already being used.

Of course, there are always a few cons to consider. For starters, the AI technology needs to advance a great deal before any medical AI will be able to perform all the daily functions of a doctor. Data breach is also something of a concern. Medical data will need to be properly encrypted and stored to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

With the medical industry taking leaps and bounds in terms of AI, we can only hope that it means great things for our health care in the future.

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