Medicine is facing a revolution linked to the digital age: the use of artificial intelligence.
In modern times, people talk about the progress that medicine has made all too often. The average age has been increased and this is – according to the pharmaceutical industry – referred to new drugs. But with the digital age, a completely new method comes to the scene which promises nothing less than a revolution in medicine.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has outstanding detection capabilities. In cars, it is able to recognize situations and evaluate them. In medicine, it is about the detection of diseases. The algorithms are fed with databases full of images that match symptoms. This works surprisingly well, as the following examples show.
For example, there is an AI developed by the University of North Carolina able to analyze brain scans. The system can detect autism in young children with a high, significant probability.
However the holy grail of modern medicine is the healing of cancer. AI of today cannot cure cancer yet, but the AI of IBM – Watson – has been trained to detect cancer. The machine can do this faster and more effectively than any doctor – with a hit rate of 78 percent. This involves the detection of different forms of cancer, whereby the AI can even make treatment suggestions. It has access to the necessary databases worldwide.
AI has also advantages when it comes to speed: The artificial intelligence developed at Oxford University can detect athlete’s foot and nail fungus much faster than human specialists do. There is also an AI at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, that may interpret ECG data to see potential heart attacks.
We will have to wait several years before AI technology is affordable and established for hospitals in all parts of the world. Nevertheless, the progress of technology is clearly visible and I think it’ll be more fruitful than a doctor looking for symptoms in books published decades ago.
About the author:
David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: http://www.autonomes-fahren.de