Baidu hopes big data can im­prove care for pa­tients

Search en­gine plans to use ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and su­per­com­put­ers to boost ef­fi­ciency, eq­uity

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Team­ing up with health­care pro­fes­sion­als, China’s in­ter­net search gi­ant Baidu has launched “Med­i­cal Brain” to help pa­tients and doc­tors by im­prov­ing the eq­uity and ef­fi­ciency of the na­tion’s health­care sys­tem.

It’s an ap­pli­ca­tion in the health­care field of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence — a com­bi­na­tion of big data, su­per­com­put­ers and ma­chine learn­ing — ac­cord­ing to Zhang Yaqin, pres­i­dent of Baidu.

The pos­ses­sion of huge amounts of data rang­ing from med­i­cal guide­lines and jour­nal pa­pers, dis­eases and hospi­tal in­for­ma­tion, to pa­tient health and med­i­cal data ac­cu­mu­lated through on­line searches and con­sul­ta­tions on Baidu plat­forms, made the “brain” come true, said chief sci­en­tistWu Enda.

It now cov­ers about 9,300 dis­eases.

“AI will help trans­form all in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing health­care, which in par­tic­u­lar needs the tool to im­prove pa­tient ac­cess and op­ti­mize lim­ited high qual­ity med­i­cal re­sources,” he said.

On the brain plat­form, pa­tients can learn about their own con­di­tions via on­line in­ter­ac­tion, while physi­cians can ac­cess pa­tient in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing symp­toms and med­i­cal his­to­ries, more ac­cu­rately and ef­fi­ciently.

“Pa­tients, med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and in­sti­tu­tions are Zhang Yaqin, wel­come to use the plat­form for free. The more data it feeds on, the more ac­cu­rate and in­tel­li­gent it will be­come,” he added.

The com­pany has a team of more than 1,000 to se­cure data safety, Zhang said.

The 680 mil­lion in­ter­net users in China and the sheer vol­ume of on­line data present Baidu with a great op­por­tu­nity to com­pete head-to-head with in­ter­na­tional gi­ants in fos­ter­ing China’s own patented med­i­cal AI, he said.

Zhang con­ceded that Baidu Med­i­cal Brain is un­der devel­op­ment.

“It mainly serves as a handy tool for pa­tients and physi­cians, par­tic­u­larly those at grass­roots-level in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

Over the long run, he ex­pected the Brain to aim higher in re­lated fields such as ac­cu­rate di­ag­no­sis, per­son­al­ized treat­ment and drug re­search and devel­op­ment.

How­ever, some lay­men ex­pressed con­cerns.

Liu Jingt­ing, a mid­dle school teacher in Beijing, said: “I’m con­cerned that the com­pany is in charge of the data se­lec­tion and in­put.

“How can we make sure that the re­sults are free from the in­flu­ence of ad­ver­tis­ing and our med­i­cal data are prop­erly han­dled?” the still

It mainly serves as a handy tool for the pa­tients and physi­cians.” pres­i­dent of Baidu

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