AI may be as effective as health professionals at improving health care | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 06, 2019

AI may be as effective as health professionals at improving health care

Artificial intelligence (AI) appears to detect diseases from medical imaging with similar levels of accuracy as health-care professionals, according to the first systematic review and meta-analysis, synthesising all the available evidence from the scientific literature published in The Lancet Digital Health journal.

With deep learning, computers can examine thousands of medical images to identify patterns of disease. This offers enormous potential for improving the accuracy and speed of diagnosis. Reports of deep learning models outperforming humans in diagnostic testing has generated much excitement and debate, and more than 30 AI algorithms for healthcare have already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Despite strong public interest and market forces driving the rapid development of these technologies, concerns have been raised about whether study designs are biased in favour of machine learning, and the degree to which the findings are applicable to real-world clinical practice. The ability to accurately exclude patients who do not have disease was also similar for deep learning algorithms (93% specificity) compared to health-care professionals (91%).

Many international health care companies and pharmaceuticals are already trying to introduce AI to transform their services for better health care. Novartis recently announced an important step in reimagining medicine by founding the Novartis AI innovation lab and by selecting Microsoft as its strategic AI and data-science partner for this effort. The new lab aims to bolster Novartis AI capabilities from research through commercialisation and help accelerate the discovery and development of transformative medicine for patients worldwide.

As a part of the strategic collaboration announced, Novartis and Microsoft have committed to a multi-year research and development effort. This strategic alliance will focus on two core objectives: AI empowerment and AI exploration.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said, “Our strategic alliance will combine Novartis’ life sciences expertise with the power of Azure and Microsoft AI. Together, we aim to address some of the biggest challenges facing the life sciences industry today and bring AI capabilities to every Novartis employee so they can unlock new insights as they work to discover new medicines and reduce patient costs.”

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