Anewly designed artificial intelligence tool based on the structure of the brain has identified a molecule capable of wiping out a number of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, according to a study published on February 20 in Cell. The molecule, halicin, which had previously been investigated as a potential treatment for diabetes, demonstrated activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, and several other hard-to-treat microbes. The discovery comes at a time when novel antibiotics are becoming increasingly difficult to find, reports STAT, and when drug-resistant bacteria are a growing global threat. The Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance convened by United Nations a few years ago released a report in 2019 estimating that drug-resistant diseases could result in 10 million deaths per year by 2050. Despite the urgency in the search for new antibiotics, a lack of financial incentives has caused pharmaceutical companies to scale back their research, according to STAT. "I do think this platform will very directly reduce the cost involved in the discovery phase of antibiotic development," coauthor James Collins of MIT tells STAT.
Promaxo, an AI-powered medical imaging enhancement platform, announced the closing of an investment round of $4.17 million led by Huami. The medical technology company plans to use the new funds to accelerate its data strategy as it continues to incorporate artificial intelligence in imaging and image-based interventions. Using a combination of linear and genetic optimization algorithms, the company's medical imaging system forms the magnetic field within the field of view to maintain linearity and uniformity constraints while being thermally stable, the company said. "As an industry, we are just scratching the surface of how powerful MRI is poised to become in guided interventions, and we are proud to have Huami as a strategic investor as we introduce our truly open MRI system to the masses," said Dr. Amit Vohra, founder, and CEO of Promaxo. "Huami's mission is to connect health with technology, and we see tremendous opportunity in imaging to expand our growth opportunities. Companies such as Promaxo are disrupting the locations, applications, and costs of medical imaging. Huami has resources, such as miniaturization engineering expertise, that can help accelerate Promaxo's scaling, growth, and success, and we look forward to what our partnership can develop," said Huami Chief Operating Officer Mike Yeung.
As politicians play whack-a-mole with COVID-19 infection rates and try to balance the economic damage caused by lockdowns, stay-at-home orders have also impacted those out there in the dating scene. No longer able to meet up for a drink, a coffee, or now even a walk in the park, organizing an encounter with anyone other than your household or support bubble is banned and can result in a fine in the United Kingdom -- and this includes both dates and overnight stays. Therefore, the only feasible option available is online connections, by way of social networks or dating apps. Dating is hard enough at the best of times but sexual desire doesn't disappear just because you are cooped up at home. Realizing this, a number of healthcare organizations worldwide have urged us not to contribute to the spread of COVID-19 by meeting up with others for discreet sex outside of our social bubbles, bringing new meaning to the phrase, "You are your safest sex partner."
A study by Vuno, a Korean artificial intelligence (AI) developer, showed that a deep learning algorithm could predict Alzheimer's disease (AD) within one minute. Jointly with Asan Medical Center, Vuno verified an AI algorithm using MRI scans of 2,727 patients registered at domestic medical institutions. Vuno found that the algorithm predicted AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) accurately. Vuno's deep learning-based algorithm used an area under the curve (AUC) to predict dementia. The closer the AUC value is, the higher the algorithm's performance is.
Aging is a universal feature shared by all living beings. While the rate of aging may vary among individuals and species, the time elapsed since birth is a strong predictor of health status and mortality. Targeting aging may extend the average life expectancy more substantially than prevention or treatment of individual diseases1. However, within the established drug discovery and development framework, pharmaceutical companies are still searching for compounds and interventions for the treatment of individual chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases. Current biomedical research aims to identify the underlying mechanisms and molecular targets specific to a disease in order to modify the disease, treat its symptoms or cure it.
Globally, healthcare organisations have accelerated adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), with the ones still implementing frameworks planning to go live within 24 months. Hardly surprising given the improved consumer engagement that results from the technology. But more than that, the challenging economic climate is seeing healthcare organisations looking for better ways to make processes more efficient, enhance their existing products and services and lower costs. The key to this is AI that brings with it a more innovative environment to automate manual, error-prone processes and introduce a sophisticated layer of analytics that can deliver new insights to the wealth of data already available. These platforms use algorithms and machine learning to analyse and interpret data, while empowering the healthcare organisation with the means to provide more personalised customer experiences.
CLAIRE, the Confederation of Laboratories for AI Research in Europe, launched its COVID-19 Initiative in March 2020 as the first wave of the pandemic hit the continent. Its objective was to coordinate volunteer efforts from its members to contribute to tackling the effects of the disease. The taskforce was able to quickly gather a group of about 150 researchers, scientists and experts in AI organized into seven topic groups: epidemiological data analysis, mobility data analysis, bioinformatics, medical imaging, social dynamics monitoring, robotics, and scheduling and resource management. We brought you a comprehensive article about the activities of this initiative in one of last month's AI for Good series posts. You can read more about the outcomes and experience of this bottom-up approach in the article: The CLAIRE COVID-19 Initiative: a bottom-up effort from the European AI community.
It could be argued artificial intelligence (AI) is already the indispensable tool of the 21st century. From helping doctors diagnose and treat patients to rapidly advancing new drug discoveries, it's our trusted partner in so many ways. Now it has found its way into the once exclusively-human domain of love and relationships. With AI-systems as matchmakers, in the coming decades it may become common to date a personalised avatar. This was explored in the 2014 movie "Her", in which a writer living in near-future Los Angeles develops affection for an AI system. The sci-fi film won an Academy Award for depicting what seemed like a highly unconventional love story.
Artificial intelligence seems to have transformed almost all the sectors across the world. On that note, healthcare sector has seen immense transformations over the years and the extent to which life has become convenient cannot be merely put into words. With 2020 being a year full of challenges especially on the healthcare front, not praising the healthcare sector for how it stood as a pillar is just not justified. Not surprising though, this sector has a plethora of opportunities that leverage technology to be deployed, hence paving way for Artificial Intelligence to explore a lot more areas. Having said that, AI has led to a lot of developments in the healthcare sector, making life simpler like never before.
One of the biggest lessons Australia and New Zealand business leaders can take from the past 12 months is that a climate of uncertainty is now the new normal. The shift in customer behaviour brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with rapid information technology changes, has already presented significant challenges. As a result, many organisations have had to bring forward their digital transformation plans and complete projects in weeks or months rather than years. During 2021, CIOs will have to work throughout their organisations and apply digital technologies and data to unlock new business opportunities. They must also work to promote a growth mindset that will help to unlock fresh innovation and agility. Adopting such a growth mindset will require CIOs and IT teams to embrace six key trends during the coming 12 months.