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 Merdis Wells visited the diabetes clinic at the University Medical Center in New Orleans about a year ago, a nurse practitioner checked her eyes to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of blindness. At her next visit, in February of this year, artificial intelligence software made the call. The clinic had just installed a system that's designed to identify patients who need follow-up attention. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the system -- called IDx-DR -- for use in 2018. The agency said it was the first time it had authorized the marketing of a device that makes a screening decision without a clinician having to get involved in the interpretation.
Artificial intelligence holds the promise of diagnosing eye diseases faster and more accuracy than physicians. It is possible that technology could replace some of the more routine eye examinations hat physicians perform. While this may be the case, a new study indicates that the most effective application of advanced technology is with physicians and algorithms working in unison to track and detect eye diseases. The research builds upon developments from Google AI, which had shown that Google's health algorithm works almost as well as human medics when screening patients for the common diabetic eye disease called diabetic retinopathy (retinal vascular disease). The new research sought to inquire whether the algorithm could do more than simply diagnose disease.
When Dr. Eric Topol joined an experiment on using artificial intelligence to get personalized nutrition advice, he was hopeful. For two weeks, Topol, a cardiologist at Scripps Research, dutifully tracked everything he ate, wore a sensor to monitor his blood-glucose levels, and even collected and mailed off a stool sample for an analysis of his gut microbiome. The diet advice he got back stunned him: Eat Bratwurst, nuts, danishes, strawberries, and cheesecake. "It was crazy stuff," Topol told me. Bratwurst and cheesecake are foods Topol generally shirks because he considers them "unhealthy."
The Indian American community has made its presence felt in different walks of life, including education, business and politics, even though they constitute only 1% of the total US population. In our last article in the series of stories about young Indians, we gave a shout-out to 17-year-old Jothi Ramaswamy from New York who, inspired by her engineer mother, holds workshops to push girls for STEM careers as part of her nonprofit'ThinkSTEAM'. Indian American Kavya Kopparapu has received the most coveted National STEM Education Award 2019 for her revolutionary invention having the sole objective of making treatments far more effective for glioblastoma, the most fatal form of brain cancer. Recognized as an extraordinarily talented and accomplished individual by STEM Education US, Kavya Kopparapu is a science whizz of Herndon, Virginia. A student of biology and computer science at Harvard University, Kavya has invented an AI technology-supported device named GlioVision that pictures characteristics of brain tumor in shorter time and at a lesser cost than the existing traditional methods.
The AI-powered, cloud-based system will be available for use by primary care providers. Over 30 million Americans have diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy--which occurs when blood sugar levels result in damage to retinal blood vessels--is considered mostly preventable. Still, it causes vision loss in tens of thousands of people each year and is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. "Many patients with diabetes are not adequately screened for diabetic retinopathy since about 50 percent of them do not see their eye doctor on a yearly basis," Malvina Eydelman, MD, said in the FDA's official announcement. She serves as director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Google and Verily, Alphabet's life sciences and healthcare arm, have created a machine learning algorithm to help screen for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, according to a Google blog post. The development of the algorithm has been a three-year project, which also involved the organizations conducting a global clinical research program focused on India. Verily has received a CE mark for the algorithm. Now, they've revealed the first real-world clinical use of the algorithm is happening at Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. At the hospital, the process works like this: Technicians use a fundus camera to take one image of each of the patient's eyes.
Parent company Alphabet's Google and Verily are using machine knowledge to help screen diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME). The two eye conditions are one of the major causes of blindness and if everything works well, it may facilitate automated screening. Which means that it will be able to detect disease sooner and provide more people with access to screenings. A part of Google's parent company Alphabet called Verily is working with Google to conduct clinical research around the world, especially in India, where studies showed the algorithm was as good at assessing images for disease as general ophthalmologists and retinal specialists, according to a blog post from the companies. Artificial Intelligence Can Detect Heart Problems in the Future, Says Study by Mayo Clinic.
Machine learning is an often-used term that has been promised to do everything from making workers more productive to taking over individuals' jobs entirely. Frankly, it will likely be many years before anyone should be concerned about being replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) at their job. However, doctors might find AI impinging upon their jobs sooner rather than later. The medical field has some characteristics that make it an attractive target for machine learning. The high stakes nature of correct disease diagnosis, coupled with over-worked and fatigued doctors, can lead to cases where patients with easily treatable diseases go undiagnosed and suffer greatly from this.
Dr Ramasamy Kim is looking at the inside of an eyeball. There is nothing particularly surprising about that: he is head of retina services at an eye hospital in southern India. The image on his computer screen shows the first blush of a condition linked to diabetes that affects millions of Indians – and can lead to blindness. The diagnosis was made not by him, or any other doctor, but by an algorithm. Over the past five years, Kim and his team at the Aravind eye hospital in Madurai have examined about 15,000 images from across the country showing the interior surface of the eyeball, known as the fundus.
New Zealand's first ever health conference looking at artificial intelligence was organised to give the health system "a shake-up". Dr Marise Stuart, an organiser of the Hack Aotearoa conference, said New Zealand's heath system needed to "pick up its game" in the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Last week's conference explored how predictive data, smart technologies and robotics could improve the health of New Zealanders. "There's a junior doctors' strike going on now and a lot of that could be prevented by having good IT because junior doctors spend so much of their time typing. That's just one small snag in the health system that AI could hugely have an effect on."