AI for health
Amazon is rolling out a new laboratory, 1492, to develop medical data services for doctors and patients, including healthcare apps for devices such as Echo and its Alexa voice assistant. Little is known about the new lab but it is believed to be focusing on letting artificial intelligence loose on legacy electronic medical data systems.
Amazon has also taken a stake in health start-up Grail which is using its deep sequencing technology to detect early signs of cancer in blood. The company is building models to gain clinically actionable intelligence from large amounts of tumour genome data.
The deployment of artificial intelligence in healthcare has the potential to support diagnoses in areas such as detecting small variations from the baseline in patients’ health data, the early identification of potential pandemics and disease tracking to help prevent and contain spread, as well as in imaging diagnostics in radiology and pathology, according to PwC in its Sizing the Prize report.
AI solutions are already good-to-go in areas such as medical insurance and smarter scheduling of appointments and operations. In the medium-term, data-driven diagnostics and virtual drug development will likely become a reality. And long-term? Think robot doctors carrying out diagnoses and treatment
AI is initially likely to be adopted as an aid, rather than replacement, for human physicians, PwC points out. It will augment physicians’ diagnoses, while in the process also providing insights for the AI to learn and improve.
“This continuous interaction between human physicians and the AI-powered diagnostics will enhance the accuracy of the systems and, over time, provide enough confidence for humans to delegate the task entirely to the AI system to operate autonomously,” the report says.