Med­i­cal sec­tor ready for AI

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By FANFEIFEI

The ap­pli­ca­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence in med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment has gone far be­yond wildest ex­pec­ta­tions. Med­i­cal imag­ing may now take the lead in com­mer­cial­iza­tion of such ap­pli­ca­tions.

In­tel­li­gent med­i­cal imag­ing di­ag­no­sis, voice-con­trolled elec­tronic med­i­cal records, and in­tel­li­gent di­ag­no­sis of cancer have be­come a hot re­search di­rec­tion. These AI-based tech­nolo­gies could as­sist doc­tors to im­prove ac­cu­racy lev­els of di­ag­no­sis.

Xi’an-based Wing­span Tech­nol­ogy, founded in 2009, has been en­gaged in the med­i­cal imag­ing field and re­lated R&D and ap­pli­ca­tions of AI tech­nol­ogy. Its busi­nesses cover third-party med­i­cal imag­ing di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment.

Ni Meng, founder and CEO of Wing­span, said the do­mes­tic med­i­cal imag­ing in­dus­try main­tains a growth rate of 30 per­cent an­nu­ally, but the de­mand for high­qual­ity med­i­cal treat­ment could not be sat­is­fied at present.

“The AI tech­nolo­gies could be used in this field to im­prove the di­ag­no­sis ac­cu­racy and let the doc­tors be­come stronger.”

In­dus­try in­sid­ers said 90 per­cent of med­i­cal data comes­frommed­i­cal imag­ing sec­tor, whose growth rate ex­ceeds that of doc­tors from med­i­cal imag­ing depart­ment. More­over, the med­i­cal imag­ing data needs man­ual anal­y­sis, and di­ag­no­sis may not be ac­cu­rate as doc­tors just rely on their ex­pe­ri­ence to make a judg­ment.

Re­ly­ing on the pow­er­ful im­age recog­ni­tion and deep learn­ing tech­nol­ogy, AI will solve the prob­lems that ex­ist in the med­i­cal imag­ing sec­tor and greatly im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of data anal­y­sis, re­duce the pres­sure of doc­tors, as well as raise the ac­cu­racy of di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment.

Wing­span has launched an on­line cloud plat­form, where the doc­tors will be pro­vided with learn­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, train­ing and as­sess­ment. The con­tents in­clude imag­ing cases, in­struc­tional videos, re­lated learn­ing ma­te­ri­als and on­line imag­ing di­ag­no­sis.

“We hope to en­hance the vo­ca­tional skills of the doc­tors through on­line shar­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and train­ing,” said Bian Haifeng, CTO of Wing­span.

Bian said doc­tors could re­fer to the AI-based di­ag­no­sis re­sults that are based on large amount of data, and then ver­ify or im­prove their di­ag­no­sis ac­cord­ingly. Mean­while, pa­tients could make a con­sul­ta­tion di­rectly at the plat­form without vis­it­ing a clinic.

In or­der to boost the on­line med­i­cal treat­ment seg­ment, China now sup­ports third-party in­sti­tu­tions to build plat­forms for med­i­cal imag­ing, health records, elec­tronic med­i­cal records and other med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion-shar­ing ser­vices.

Bian said: “With the open­ing-up of the third-party or in­de­pen­dent med­i­cal imag­ing di­ag­no­sis cen­ters, we hope to do more in this sec­tor by ap­ply­ing deep learn­ing and AI tech­nolo­gies to as­sist doc­tors.

“There is no doubt that AI will take the place of some te­dious work of hu­man be­ings, but it will cre­ate some­newjobs grad­u­ally. It is nat­u­ral that AI is be­ing ap­plied to the med­i­cal imag­ing field.”

Zhang Yi­dan, an an­a­lyst at in­ter­net con­sul­tancy Analysys, said the ap­pli­ca­tion of AI tech­nol­ogy in on­line pa­tient di­ag­no­sis could ease the short­age of doc­tors and im­prove strained re­la­tions be­tween doc­tors and pa­tients.

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