If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
When I was six years old, I remember walking with my father to the doctor's office, which was in a clinic two towns from where we lived. When we reached the Afari clinic, the only nurse on duty recorded my vital symptoms, including my temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, and told us to wait for our turn. I was the 30th person in line to meet the only doctor available at the clinic. We waited for hours before it was finally my turn. The doctor went over my vital symptoms which were: Pressure: Normal; Temperature: High; Pulse: Normal.
During the current coronavirus pandemic, one of the riskiest parts of a health care worker's job is assessing people who have symptoms of Covid-19. Researchers from MIT, Boston Dynamics, and Brigham and Women's Hospital hope to reduce that risk by using robots to remotely measure patients' vital signs. The robots, which are controlled by a handheld device, can also carry a tablet that allows doctors to ask patients about their symptoms without being in the same room. "In robotics, one of our goals is to use automation and robotic technology to remove people from dangerous jobs," says Henwei Huang, an MIT postdoc. "We thought it should be possible for us to use a robot to remove the health care worker from the risk of directly exposing themselves to the patient."
Compared to the financial services sector where blockchain and AI have, in many ways, revolutionised operations, healthcare has been slower to move with these types of innovation. At the same time, people are living longer but present more care demands on the health system, leading to bed shortages and longer wait lists for treatment. With the NHS creaking under ever-increasing pressures to serve a growing population of the elderly and obese, and all on unsustainable budgets, mobilising technology to provide relief from this strain seems like the only solution to an unfolding crisis. One major trend in healthcare is intervention; the growing focus on prevention rather than cure. The growth in sedentary lifestyles imposes an unsustainable burden on healthcare provision.
Testing a patient for Covid-19 can be an unnerving experience for health care workers, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston are hoping to use robots to change that. Operating robots with a handheld device, medical workers may soon be able to talk with patients about their symptoms while measuring vitals -- all from another room. Researchers modified Boston Dynamics' dog-like robot spot to measure patients' vital signs. The researchers have been using a robot on healthy volunteers and are making plans to use it to test people who show Covid-19 symptoms in a hospital setting, the university said in a news release. "In robotics, one of our goals is to use automation and robotic technology to remove people from dangerous jobs," MIT postdoc Henwei Huang said, according to the release.
Spot the robot dog is ready to see you now for your contact-free vitals. Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital are exploring a new way to lower the risk for health-care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic -- by using Boston Dynamics' Spot the robot dog to remotely measure patients' vital signs. "In robotics, one of our goals is to use automation and robotic technology to remove people from dangerous jobs," Henwei Huang, an MIT postdoctoral researcher, said in a statement. "We thought it should be possible for us to use a robot to remove the health-care worker from the risk of directly exposing themselves to the patient." Using four cameras mounted on the dog-like robot, the researchers have shown that they can measure skin temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation in healthy patients.
With the current pandemic spreading like wildfire, the requirement for a faster diagnosis can not be more critical than now. As a matter of fact, the traditional real-time polymerase chain reaction testing (RT-PCR) using the nose and throat swab has not only been termed to have limited sensitivity but also time-consuming for operational reasons. Thus, to expedite the process of COVID-19 diagnosis, researchers from the University of Oxford developed two early-detection AI models leveraging the routine data collected from clinical reports. In a recent paper, the Oxford researchers revealed the two AI models and highlighted its effectiveness in screening the virus in patients coming for checkups to the hospital -- for an emergency checkup or for admitting in the hospital. To validate these real-time prediction models, researchers used primary clinical data, including lab tests of the patients, their vital signs and their blood reports.
Boston Dynamics' Spot robots have been used in many creative ways, from surveying a Ford plant in Michigan to herding sheep in New Zealand. Earlier this year, the tech company announced Spot was chipping in to help coronavirus patients -- now, we're seeing the fruits of that work. Boston Dynamics and MIT researchers say they've collaborated to create "Dr. Spot," a robot that can measure a patient's vital signs without doctor-to-patient contact. Spot robots are four-legged and designed to nimbly navigate areas wheeled robots cannot, either autonomously or via remote control.
Look into your camera for thirty seconds. You've just given your phone enough information to check your heart rate, oxygen saturation, breathing rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, stress level, and ten other health indicators at medical grade levels of reliability. Now imagine doing that 50 times a day without even thinking about it. And having the results funneled to your personal medical AI engine to monitor you for any signs of poor health, ready to notify your physician if anything looks out of the ordinary. Like higher temperature, which might indicate a fever, flu ... or Covid-19. That's part of the vision of Binah.ai, an Israeli health startup that uses high-end artificial intelligence and low-end cameras built into all our phones and laptops to continuously monitor health.
Your digital vital sign dashboard will show your heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation, and will use our AI platform to assume longitudinal exacerbations or recovery of your COVID-19 infection. Our 5 meter walk test (frailty test) and 6 minute walk test (cardiovascular function) will be bound to your accelerometer and be able to trend your frailty, heart and lung reserve for fitness as well as for infection. You will be able to enter your medication and laboratory tests in our tracker. Your GPS location will be coupled to a geolocation beacon to an emergency medical service and your physician. Insights will provide links to our clinical trials, CDC, FDA websites as well as advice about anti-inflammatory diets and peer reviewed scientific journals. The Yoga Mode will also allow a proprietary therapeutic anti-inflammatory yogic breathing which will certainly change your cardiovascular health.
With most US states now reporting sustained increases in new coronavirus cases, fear about the pandemic's resurgence is on the rise. That is placing renewed pressure on the key elements in this healthcare battle, including early detection, containment, triage and diagnosis, and vaccine development. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to bring an arsenal of important weapons to this fight. But the reviews are mixed on how effectively healthcare has used AI in the past. Many experts hope that the current crisis will change that.