Hematology


New machine learning system can automatically identify shapes of red blood cells

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Using a computational approach known as deep learning, scientists have developed a new system to classify the shapes of red blood cells in a patient's blood. The findings, published in PLOS Computational Biology, could potentially help doctors monitor people with sickle cell disease. A person with sickle cell disease produces abnormally shaped, stiff red blood cells that can build up and block blood vessels, causing pain and sometimes death. The disease is named after sickle-shaped (crescent-like) red blood cells, but it also results in many other shapes, such as oval or elongated red blood cells. The particular shapes found in a given patient can hold clues to the severity of their disease, but it is difficult to manually classify these shapes.


How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing Personalized Medicine Mellanox Technologies Blog

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Imagine becoming gravely ill and yet being able to receive an accurate diagnosis with a recommended treatment plan in just 10 minutes. This is actually happening now with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The University of Tokyo recently reported that Watson, IBM's cognitive supercomputer, correctly diagnosed a rare form of leukemia in a 60-year-old woman. Doctors originally thought the woman had acute myeloid leukemia, but after examining 20 million cancer research papers in 10 minutes, Watson was able to correctly determine the actual disease and recommend a personalized treatment plan. AI – and its related applications, Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) – are changing healthcare as we know it.


Artificial Human Embryos Are Coming, and No One Knows How to Handle Them

MIT Technology Review

Two years ago, Shao, a mechanical engineer with a flair for biology, was working with embryonic stem cells, the kind derived from human embryos able to form any cell type. The work in Michigan is part of a larger boom in organoid research--scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies: Brain Organoids"). Scientists have started seeking ways to coax stem cells to form more complicated, organized tissues, called organoids. Following guidelines promulgated last year by Kimmelman's international stem-cell society, Fu's team destroys the cells just five days after they're made.


Prospect of Synthetic Embryos Sparks New Bioethics Debate

MIT Technology Review

Two years ago, Shao, a mechanical engineer with a flair for biology, was working with embryonic stem cells, the kind derived from human embryos able to form any cell type. The work in Michigan is part of a larger boom in organoid research--scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies: Brain Organoids"). Scientists have started seeking ways to coax stem cells to form more complicated, organized tissues, called organoids. Following guidelines promulgated last year by Kimmelman's international stem-cell society, Fu's team destroys the cells just five days after they're made.


Digital therapy toy for stroke patients lights up for a game of whack-a-mole

Mashable

In a clinical trial for its FDA-registered Rapael Smart Glove, scientists in South Korea found that that improvements in arm mobility performance were "significantly greater" in patients who underwent the gamified therapy, versus conventional therapy. Of all of the advances in technology that have given us robotic exoskeletons, assistive treadmills and robotic training devices, fine motor and advanced hand training remains fairly simple in clinical terms, in comparison, she says. Next year, the company plans to launch a device it developed in collaboration with Seoul National University for spinal cord injury patients. Project-named Exo Glove, the company aims for its assistive device to help patients with minimal range of motion to move their hand using electric stimulations.


From bone marrow transplant to winning medals

BBC News

Innovation in this area is being helped by the UK National Health Service's (NHS) Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), which has been rolled out over the last few years. It enables doctors to send prescriptions direct to pharmacies electronically without any need for paper. Such efficiencies have saved the NHS £137m; doctors' practices £328m; pharmacies £59m; and patients £75m, between 2013 and 2016, NHS Digital says. So his company spent three-and-a-half years building a platform, PharmacyOS, to handle every aspect of the repeat prescription process: prescribing, dispensing, delivering, billing, handling insurance claims, as well as pill-taking monitoring.


Soft Robotic Exosuit Can Help Stroke Patients

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Soft wearable robotic exosuits can help patients walk after strokes, a new study finds. However, while the rigid nature of most exoskeletons can help them provide large amounts of assistance for patients who could not otherwise walk, they may not be suitable for people who have some capacity to walk on their own, as they can restrict natural movement, Walsh says. "By providing a small amount of assistance, our soft exosuit could provide significant benefits for people who retain some ability to walk, such as most stroke survivors, and allow them to move more naturally than they could with a more rigid system," Walsh says. The scientists are now planning to see whether continued use of this soft exosuit can help stroke patients learn how to walk better without the device, Walsh says.


Artificial intelligence helps stroke patients walk again

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The research comes from the Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. The regathers behind the development are hopeful it will lead to better outcomes for patients undergoing rehabilitation following incidences like a stroke or a spinal cord injury or strokes. READ MORE: Mayo Clinic's new startup to tackle diseases using AI Recovery plans for spinal cord injuries and strokes typically require usually many hours of supported walking, using devices like treadmills, with the walking aid pre-programmed by a medic to provide a steady pace. The new development has been described in the journal Science Translational Medicine, with the research paper headed "A multidirectional gravity-assist algorithm that enhances locomotor control in patients with stroke or spinal cord injury."


#Artificialintelligence can predict the success of IVF embryos better than do...

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Science Daily explores the issue in more depth (4 July 2017): "However, because the artificial intelligence system is a technique which analyses the embryo through mathematical variables, it offers low subjectivity and high repeatability, making embryo classification more consistent. "Nevertheless," said Professor Rocha, "the artificial intelligence system must be based on learning from a human being -- that is, the experienced embryologists who set the standards of assessment to train the system."" See also EurekAlert (4 July 2017): "The system utilizes a sophisticated architecture of multi-class deep neural networks (DNNs) and DNN ensembles trained on thousands of samples of carefully selected cells of multiple classes: embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, progenitor stem cells, adult stem cells and adult cells to recognize the class and embryonic state of the sample, achieving high accuracy in simulations. The sample sets were augmented with carefully selected and manually curated data from public repositories coming from multiple experiments and generated on different platforms.


Machine learning predicts the look of stem cells

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The Allen Cell Explorer, produced by the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle, Washington, includes a growing library of more than 6,000 pictures of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) -- key components of which glow thanks to fluorescent markers that highlight specific genes. Rick Horwitz, director of the Allen Institute for Cell Science, says that the institute's images may hasten progress in stem cell research, cancer research and drug development by revealing unexpected aspects of cellular structure. The Allen Institute's visual emphasis on stem cells dovetails with a number of efforts to catalogue other aspects of cells. Aviv Regev, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is working on the Human Cell Atlas, says that the Allen Cell Explorer complements her project by focusing on the look of cellular features as opposed to how genes, RNA and proteins interact within the cell.