The Doc Bot Will See You Now
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS MEDICINE’S FUTURE. BUT CERTAIN ASPECTS ARE AVAILABLE NOW. HERE ARE 12 WAYS AI CAN BOOST YOUR HEALTH.
When Greg Corrado, PH.D., an artificial intelligence researcher, took the stage at the TedMed Conference last year, he was frank. “Doctors who partner with artificial intelligence as a decision-making aid will see their healing powers expand more than they have in the past 100 years,” he told the audience of medical professionals. Corrado is a principal scientist at Google AI and an expert in machine learning. “To practice medicine today,” he continued, “is to weather an information hurricane. . .AI [and machine learning] is our best opportunity to tame the data beast and actually scale care to meet demand.”
Sound like sci-fi? Not to the hospitals, researchers, and med schools working with Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Google, Intel, and GE. Companies are creating algorithms to sort medical records, determine treatments, diagnose sepsis in as little as 12 hours, and even predict who will skip their next doctor’s appointment. Cloud-based, deep-learning technology is also being used to review MRIs to assess blood flow and scan for heart disease faster and more accurately than even the best radiologists can.
Although the field is still in its infancy, here are 12 innovative AI-based technologies you can tap today to improve your health.
Admit it–you’ve always wanted a private-duty nurse. Well, next time you have surgery, an interactive, virtual health assistant named Molly may follow up with you at home. The avatar can check symptoms, pull info from medical devices and wearables, and book follow-up appointments. (Sorry, no sponge baths.) No need to type–you speak to Molly, and all your info is automatically uploaded to your medical file for your doctor to review.
BEST FOR People who are frustrated by the hassles of conventional follow-up care or who need to closely monitor a chronic disease
FIND IT sensely.com
Wary of therapy? Not into talking about your mental health? This chatbot, created by Stanford clinical research psychologist Alison Darcy, Ph.D., uses brief daily conversations, mood graphing, uplifting videos, and word games via Facebook’s Messenger to monitor your mood and help you learn about yourself. Over time, Woebot learns what you respond to best, and its reactions become more specific. In a 2017 study, users saw significant reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms after two weeks and an average of 12 sessions using Woebot.
BEST FOR The therapy-averse
FIND IT woebot.io
Missed doses of prescription meds can interfere with recovery and even be life-threatening. AiCure uses AI and a smartphone camera to visually confirm that the pill was taken. After checking the patient’s identity through facial recognition, this clinically backed app verifies the medication type (based on its shape and colour) and ingestion, and then sends confirmation to a doctor. It also sends daily medication reminders.
BEST FOR The incredibly busy, the hopelessly absent-minded, and especially remote caretakers of ageing parents
FIND IT aicure.com
When you’re given a life-altering diagnosis and you need to educate yourself on treatment options, forget Google. This AI-powered search engine checks a database of over 40 million peer-reviewed studies, pulls the most cited and relevant ones, and finds connections based on effectiveness. Its long-term goal is using machine intelligence to connect the dots between studies and identify cures that might otherwise be missed.
BEST FOR Anyone needing trustworthy medical information drawn from the latest science
FIND IT semanticscholar.org
ARTAS ROBOTIC HAIR RESTORATION
Existing hair-transplant methods can be painstaking: Hairs are manually harvested from a donor spot on your head and then implanted in bald or thinning areas. This AI-powered robot assists surgeons in selecting the best hairs for harvesting and then transplanting them, which is said to encourage faster
WARY OF TALK THERAPY? WOEBOT CAN MONITOR YOUR MOOD AND HELP YOU FEEL LESS DEPRESSED.
DIAGNOSE YOUR GAIT CLIP A COACH ONTO YOUR SHORTS AND GET REAL-TIME FEEDBACK.
recovery and a more natural look. BEST FOR Balding men with money FIND IT artashair.com
Instead of the dyes and catheters involved in an angiogram, doctors are diagnosing heart disease with this non-invasive technology that uses CT scans, computer-generated blood-flow, and a deep-learning algorithm to produce a 3D map of the heart. The detailed analyses of blockages and blood-flow have been shown to reduce the number of unnecessary invasive angiograms by more than 80 percent, potentially reducing health care costs by more than 25 percent. It also comes with 86 percent diagnostic accuracy (versus 65 percent for coronary CT angiography). It’s available in some 40 hospitals in the United States, with many more expected in the future.
BEST FOR Anyone who’s in need of a comprehensive heart disease diagnosis
FIND IT heartflow.com
Doctors are often delayed in making diagnoses because they don’t have immediate access to ultrasound machines. If you’re in pain from, say, possible kidney stones, that wait can be excruciating. The Butterfly iQ is a pocket-sized ultrasound scanner that connects to an iPhone, with AI software that helps the doctor interpret the images quickly. It’s cleared by the FDA for 13 different indications. While it’s not available to consumers, it will appear in ERs in 2018. BEST FOR Any health care provider who needs an ultrasound, stat FIND IT butterflynetwork. com
WATSON FOR ONCOLOGY
Physicians dealing with cancer cases can sometimes take weeks to work up a treatment plan. IBM’s Watson for Oncology draws on training from experts at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as well as a plethora of medical literature–including more than 300 medical journals and 200 textbooks, and nearly 15 million pages of text--to tailor a treatment plan based on the patient’s symptoms, genetics, and history. And it does it in minutes.
BEST FOR Cancer patients who want the real-world sensibility of a doctor and an AI-based opinion
FIND IT ibm.com/watson/ health
Simple: Clip this sensor to your shorts, and the MotionScience Platform analyses biomechanic feedback (cadence, braking, bounce, pelvic rotation, pelvic drop) to deliver real-time tips on your running form. It also suggests pre- and post-run exercises to address weak spots. Another product, Lumo Lift (worn on the collarbone) works similarly for posture.
BEST FOR Recreational and competitive runners who want to improve their form and avoid injury
FIND IT lumobodytech.com
After a diagnosis, share your disease experience, symptoms, and treatment info on PatientsLikeMe–the world’s largest patient network–to gain insight from people with the same condition. With more than 600,000 members and 2,800 conditions, the platform now uses AI in its DigitalMe program, which creates a more complete version of each patient by analysing their genes and biomarkers, tracing the disease’s progression, and studying the factors affecting it.
BEST FOR Those seeking insight via crowdsourcing, as well as research advocates, especially if it’s a disease that isn’t well understood, like ALS.
FIND IT patientslikeme.com
COLGATE CONNECT E1
This toothbrush uses 3D motion sensors, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer to track its exact position and orientation, giving you real-time feedback via your phone as you brush. AI sifts through the data to send weekly coaching tips.
BEST FOR Budding actors and the cavity-prone
FIND IT colgate.com/en-us/ connect/e1
This app claims to have changed 45 million lives, with 78 percent of users losing weight and keeping it off nine months later. By using AI and human “goal specialists,” it creates custom nutrition/ exercise courses. Noom is the first program of its kind to be recognized by the CDC for diabetes prevention.
BEST FOR People who need personal coaching and are organized enough to input their data consistently
FIND IT noom.com