Computers could start diagnosing patients' illnesses within the next few years as artificial intelligence increasingly ousts doctors from their traditional roles, NHS leaders believe. Machines may soon be able to read X-rays and analyse samples of diseased tissue, such as lumps that can indicate the presence of breast cancer, the NHS's top doctor said. NHS England plans to invest more of its £120bn budget in AI to speed up its application to medicine and the health service, especially the task of analysing "huge swaths" of the information collected from patients about their symptoms. "We know from a number of studies that have been done that in, certain circumstances, AI is better than doctors at diagnosing certain conditions," said Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the organisation's national medical director. "It's possible that certain types – and there are many different types of AI – will be able to read X-rays.
Facebook artificial intelligence (AI) is working alongside radiologists to create MRI scans that last as little as five minutes, new research suggests. Current MRI scans require patients, who are often in pain, sit perfectly still for up to an hour-and-a-half while a scan is completed. This is due to such scans taking a series of 2D images of a person's insides, which are combined to create a 3D picture. Known as the FastMRI project, the new technique involves taking just a few 2D images, before AI that has been trained on millions of other scans'fills in the gaps'. Early results show the technique may be feasible, however, such projects take time.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, "chronic diseases and conditions are on the rise worldwide." When infectious diseases like SARS and Ebola emerged, there was a rapid, global spread. Given the significant increase in global mobility, outbreaks must be dealt with quickly to minimize the number of people who may be infected. Although there have been significant advances in the control of common communicable diseases, presently, some of the most common infections like tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV still do not have effective vaccines. On a positive note, the past few years has also seen major progress in the diagnosis, management and prevention of certain cancers like cervix and breast cancer and childhood leukemia.
If you thought that heart disease or cancer might be the leading causes of death in England and Wales, you'd be wrong. Dementia has become the leading cause of death and accounted for 12.8% of all deaths in the UK in 2018. It is the biggest health crisis in the UK and has huge financial implications: NHS England and Dementia UK have estimated that the cost associated with the disease is a staggering £23bn per year1. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe symptoms that occur when the brain cells stop working. This happens when cells die or blood flow in the brain is restricted.
It was a sunny day outside, with a hint of spring in the air. I followed Angela, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, down the corridor towards my consulting room in Melbourne. She'd been my patient for several years, but that morning I noticed her shuffling her feet a little as she walked. Her facial expression seemed a bit flat and I noticed she had a mild tremor. I referred her to a neurologist and within a week she was commenced on treatment for Parkinson's disease, but I kicked myself for not picking up on her symptoms sooner.