The computer will see you now. Artificial intelligence algorithms may soon bring the diagnostic know-how of an eye doctor to primary care offices and walk-in clinics, speeding up the detection of health problems and the start of treatment, especially in areas where specialized doctors are scarce. The first such program -- trained to spot symptoms of diabetes-related vision loss in eye images -- is pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While other already approved AI programs help doctors examine medical images, there's "not a specialist looking over the shoulder of [this] algorithm," says Michael Abràmoff, who founded and heads a company that developed the system under FDA review, dubbed IDx-DR. "It makes the clinical decision on its own."
Analyzing queries made to Google, Bing, and other search engines can reveal the potentially dangerous consequences of mixing prescriptions before they are known to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a new study. Such data mining could even expose medical risks that slip through clinical trials undetected. Pharmaceuticals often have side effects that go unnoticed until they're already available to the public. This is especially true of side effects that emerge when two drugs interact, largely because drug trials try to pinpoint the effects of one drug at a time. Physicians have a few ways to hunt for these hidden risks, such as reports to FDA from doctors, nurses, and patients.
Want to know what's in your genes? People in the US will soon be able to buy a genetic test that tells them how likely they are to develop 10 diseases, including late-onset Alzheimer's. The saliva-based test is being marketed by 23andMe, a company based in California. The firm already offers "spit kits" for US-based customers who want to find out about their ancestry or risk of passing on certain genetic diseases to their children. But in 2013, the Food and Drug Administration banned 23andMe from offering a test that assessed a person's genetic risk for 254 disorders and conditions.
A New York City based large volume private practice radiology group conducted a quality assurance review that included an 18 month software evaluation in the breast center comprised of nine (9) specialist radiologists using an FDA cleared artificial intelligence software by Koios Medical, Inc as a second opinion for analyzing and assessing lesions found during breast ultrasound examinations. Over the evaluation period, radiologists analyzed over 6,000 diagnostic breast ultrasound exams. Radiologists used Koios DS Breast decision support software (Koios Medical, Inc.) to assist in lesion classification and risk assessment. As part of the normal diagnostic workflow, radiologists would activate Koios DS and review the software findings with clinical details to formulate the best management. Analysis was then performed comparing the physicians' diagnostic performance to the 18-month period prior to the introduction of the AI enabled software.
As part of its latest healthcare-focused venture, Apple has teamed up with Zimmer Biomet on an app designed for knee and hip replacement patients. The app, called mymobility, works with the Apple Watch and iPhone, and it provides patients with guidance before and after their surgeries, tracks their activity, allows surgeons to monitor that activity and lets patients connect with their surgeons through secure messaging. "We believe one of the best ways to empower consumers is by giving them the ability to use their health and activity information to improve their own care," Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a statement. "We are proud to enable knee and hip replacement patients to use their own data and share it with their doctors seamlessly, so that they can participate in their care and recovery in a way not previously possible through traditional in-person visits." Along with the app, Apple and Zimmer Biomet are working on a clinical study that will assess how mymobility impacts patient outcomes and costs.