WASHINGTON: Your next doctor could very well be a bot. And bots, or automated programs, are likely to play a key role in finding cures for some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases and conditions.
Artificial intelligence is rapidly moving into health care, led by some of the biggest technology companies and emerging startups using it to diagnose and respond to a raft of conditions.
Consider these examples:
— California researchers detected cardiac arrhythmia with 97 percent accuracy on wearers of an Apple Watch with the AI-based Cariogram application, opening up early treatment options to avert strokes.
— Scientists from Harvard and the University of Vermont developed a machine learning tool — a type of AI that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed — to better identify depression by studying Instagram posts, suggesting “new avenues for early screening and detection of mental illness.”
— Researchers from Britain’s University of Nottingham created an algorithm that predicted heart attacks better than doctors using conventional guidelines.
While technology has always played a role in medical care, a wave of investment from Silicon Valley and a flood of data from connected devices appear to be spurring innovation.