In part one of this series, AI in Medicine: Diagnosis, we discussed how Artificial Intelligence is changing the way medical practitioners diagnose their patients. Artificial Intelligence has been used to correctly predict alzheimer’s, cancer and other illnesses that doctors sometimes misdiagnose. AI in medicine is saving lives.
However, not everything in AI is all green lights. Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have both famously stood opposed to AI, citing that it could lead to the end of the human race.
Healthcare practitioners feel otherwise.
“By 2025, AI systems could be involved in everything from population health management, to digital avatars capable of answering specific patient queries,” – Harpreet Singh Buttar, analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
The most prominent benefit to AI in medicine is the time it saves doctors and nurses. AI can not only diagnose illnesses faster than human doctors, but it can monitor progress and make recommendations to patients while doctors are otherwise preoccupied.
In recent years IBM’s Watson has collaborated with the company WellTok (who also received $191.9 Million in funding) to partner with hospitals and consumers. Their combined energies came up with CafeWell, a personalized health monitoring system. Users input personalized information such as height, weight, gender, blood type etc. and the CafeWell makes recommendations to how they can keep themselves in good working order. This means not just monitoring illness, but helping consumers make lifestyle choices that will keep them healthier in the long run.
A California-based startup Sense.ly ($3.79 Million), has developed an AI nurse, named Molly, who follows up with a personalized care plan that syncs up remotely with clinicians. Molly monitors risk factors, adjusts clinical protocols as needed and triggers actions by the patient or healthcare providers when necessary.
The most pressing issue with the Internet of Things (IoT) has been how to make use of the data it collects. With AI, that data can be put to good use. The startup Glooko, is a diabetes monitoring software that gives both the patient and the doctor live feedback and data so crisis can be avoided. Glooko comes with a charger cable that takes the data from the patient’s blood glucose monitoring system, organizes it for them and displays the results. Glooko also has input features that allows the patient to add the foods they’ve eaten and the activities they have done. This data is also taken into account when Glooko makes predictions about the risks a patient puts themselves in. Doctors have access to all of this data in their remote app system, they can monitor multiple patients at once and periodically check up on patients who need it.
“Glooko provides a set of tools that allows us to spend more time optimizing therapy and less time managing technology.”
– Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas
In general, health care practitioners seem skeptical about utilizing AI technology. And with AI technology still in it’s early stages, we understand why it might seem like more trouble than it’s worth. AI is not yet at the stage where it can replace a doctor completely, it is simply making doctors’ lives easier. Instead of trying to replace doctors, we should focus on how AI can assist healthcare professionals to do their job better. What are the problems in medicine, and how can AI help fix them?
BitNavi is a blog conceived by Karl Motey in the heart of Silicon Valley, dedicated to emerging technologies and strategic business issues challenging the industry.
Kaya Lindsay is a local Santa Cruz contributor who spends her time globetrotting, surfing the web, and writing for the BitNavi team.
Follow her on Twitter: @KayaSays