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) …
AstraZeneca is mounting a big push into digital technologies, which includes hiring a former Nasa artificial intelligence expert, as it seeks to accelerate drug discovery and show the value of its medicines in an increasingly tough pricing environment. The approach was mapped out at a meeting of about 200 senior leaders at its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, late last month. It forms part of a blueprint for future growth that its chief executive, Pascal Soriot, has internally dubbed "AZ2025". The pharma industry is facing unprecedented levels of scrutiny over its pricing, particularly in the US. At the same time, the emergence of highly expensive potential cures for diseases such as cancer has put more pressure on drug companies to show their prices represent value for money.
Expanded window to treat stroke patients. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of doctors and researchers. Cleveland Clinic today announced the Top 10 Medical Innovations of 2019 at a multi-media presentation that capped off the 2018 Medical Innovation Summit. Now in its 16th year, the annual Medical Innovation Summit is organized by Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the development and commercialization arm of Cleveland Clinic. The list of up-and-coming technologies was selected by a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists, led by Michael Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic.
Stanford has released the results of its Apple Watch-based heart study more than a year after it began, and it appears to have been a success, with a few caveats. Only 0.5 percent of the more than 400,000 volunteers received warnings of irregular heart rhythms, but physicians later verified that 84 percent of those notifications were atrial fibrillation episodes and thus potential signs of trouble. To put it another way, the technology both avoided a glut of false positives (a major concern going into the study) and was reliable enough that it was worth a follow-up with doctors. Just 34 percent of those who received notifications and agreed to wear an ECG patch for a week showed irregularities, but that was expected when atrial fibrillation is intermittent. About 57 percent of those who saw warnings went to a doctor, Stanford added.
Machine learning algorithms using large datasets may be utilized to accurately estimate prognosis and guide therapy for patients with adult congenital heart disease, according to a study published in the European Heart Journal. The investigators of this large cohort, single-center study sought to examine the utility of machine learning algorithms as a prognostic model and to guide therapeutic decision-making in patients with adult congenital heart disease or pulmonary hypertension. The study sample included 10,019 adults under active follow-up at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London between 2000 and 2018. Patient data were retrospectively collected -- including clinical and demographic data, ECG parameters, cardiopulmonary exercise data, and laboratory markers -- and incorporated into deep learning algorithms. Specific deep learning models were then built for patient categorization into diagnostic subsets, disease complexity subsets, and by New York Heart Association (NYHA) class.
Many doctors take a very conservative view when it comes to new technology. But Eric Topol, a cardiologist and author, is a self-described "digital geek," a long-time proponent of using the latest gadgets in medicine. He even upgraded his black bag to include wearables and connected medical devices, rather than the old analog blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes. So for technology companies like Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, Topol is an important ally as they get deeper into the medical sector. It can't hurt that he's one of the most influential doctors on social media, with over 150,000 Twitter followers.
'Empathy robot' Reeti, made in France for use in health care. In a new book, Eric Topol wants to see medics themselves freed to provide compassion to patients.Credit: BSIP/UIG via Getty So much has been written about artificial intelligence (AI) that any new book on it can struggle to create a signal amid the noise. There are volumes hyping AI as the fourth industrial revolution, others decrying it as the greatest threat to modern society and many calling for AI to become less artificial and more intelligent. Now, Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, adds his voice. Deep Medicine summarizes hype and threat, then takes us to a place where no one else has gone: a future in which AI helps to re-establish empathy and trust between doctors and patients.
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine announced this week that it has been doing new artificial intelligence work in an effort to improve the efficacy and accuracy of its cardiac screening. Clinicians there are using a cardiac monitoring platform from Eko, studying how its AI-enabled digital stethoscopes can interpret heart sounds to help screen for heart murmurs and valvular damage. They depend on a "highly trained musical ear that can separate subtle abnormalities from normal sounds with cardiologist-level precision," according to Northwestern researchers. The idea with the Eko stethoscopes is that AI and machine learning can combine the data from tens of thousands of heart sound patterns to help clinicians better assess what sounds are normal and what's not. "One of the biggest problems in healthcare is that general practitioners so often miss heart murmurs that if found earlier would allow patients to get treatment before problems arise," said Connor Landgraf, CEO of Eko, in a statement.
Innovations have transformed nearly every industry from education to accounting, and the healthcare business is no exception. Doctors and other healthcare professionals have long utilized technology inpatient treatment, but today's innovations trend more toward increasing patient access to care and empowering individuals to take more active roles in their health outcomes. Prescription monitoring technology has enabled providers to slow the opioid epidemic by preventing doctor shopping. Up and coming innovations will improve other areas of medicine from counseling to cardiac surgery. The following are some of the most prominent of these predictions for 2019.
An artificial intelligence (AI) research programme has been launched in London which aims to develop the use of the technology in healthcare. Composed of five projects, the CAP-AI programme is focused on developing the use of AI in healthcare in London with the aim of improving patient care. This involves project teams from Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London supporting a London-based Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) to deliver their project, with the aim of creating a new product that can be commercialised. Two projects are already underway – the first led by Vascular Consultant, Sandip Sarkar from Barts and in partnership with AI-start-up Motilent. This particular project aims to use AI to predict how congenital ascending aortic aneurysm, an unpredictable and potentially deadly condition, is likely to develop in patients.