When it comes to medical ailments and their diagnosis, time is absolutely of the essence. The sooner we’re aware of a developing condition, the better chance we have of treating and ultimately overcoming it. Lately we’re seeing how artificial intelligence is poised to play a greater and greater role in detecting tell-tale signs of disease long before doctors can, with potentially life-saving ramifications.
In terms of machines outperforming humans that excel in certain fields, artificial intelligence has claimed some pretty big scalps of late. This includes toppling professional poker players at Texas hold ’em, outperforming the world’s best players of the ancient Chinese game of Go and mastering the notoriously difficult game of Ms. Pac-Man on Atari.
When we consider this rate of technological progression in the medical realm, things get even more exciting. The reason it holds so much potential in this area is because through machine learning and the power of computing, AI has the ability to look at medical imaging data and health records to spot subtle, yet crucial changes that human clinicians can’t.
“AI is particularly strong in recognizing patterns in data,” Shlomo Berkovsky, associate professor at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, explains to New Atlas. “For example, patterns in medical imaging like brain scans, X-rays or time series data like ECG or respiratory measurement. It can then map these patterns to past clinical records and outcomes of procedures. Sometimes it can even recognize patterns that cannot be spotted by a human clinician. Thus, it can learn from large volumes of data and support clinicians with automated decision support.”