According to the news report by Bloomberg, advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology by Google’s “Medical Brain” team could help the technology giant enter the health-care business.
In May, Google published a report about an unidentified woman who was suffering from late-stage breast cancer.
She was admitted in hospital as her lungs were already being flooded by fluids. The lady’s medical data was input into the hospital’s computer system, which stated that the woman had a 9.3% chance of dying while in hospital. Then, Google used its newly developed algorithm to assess the woman’s condition. The assessment by Google’s software was that she had a 19.9% chance of dying while in hospital. The lady passed away in hospital a few days later.
This research paper was used by Google to highlight the potential its new AI software had in the health-care industry. This new software, based on neural networks that learns and improves through the data that it collates, could be a huge asset to the health-care industry as it could be used to predict the outcomes of various patient conditions, such as how long would a patient be hospitalized, what were the odds of patients being re-admitted or even what the chances are the patients could die while in hospital.
However, the thing that impressed the medical community the most about Google’s new AI software was its ability to go through data that was previously inaccessible or unusable. This data included notes that were buried in PDF files or scrawled on old charts. The neural net was able to absorb all these previously undecipherable data points and use them to make predictions. Not only did the AI software do this much more accurately and speedily than the old systems, but it also pointed to which data sources it used to arrive at its conclusions.
For many years now, hospitals and related health-care professionals have been trying to find ways to utilize the huge database of health records as well as patient data. Now, thanks to this new software, it could be possible to do so. Information that was shared more easily as well as highlighted at the appropriate time could mean lives being saved.
Additionally, the more efficient processing of data could also mean that health-care workers would spend less time on paperwork and focus more on patient wellbeing.
According to an associate professor at Stanford University, Nigam Shah, as much as 80% of the time spent on current predictive models are on the menial work of data entry and making the data more readable and presentable. Shah, who also co-authored the Google research paper, which was published by the journal Nature, stated that the new AI technology developed by Google makes it much simpler.
The next steps for the technology and internet giant, according to its AI Head Jeff Dean, will be moving this new software into clinics. The AI health research unit, also called the “Medical Brain” is researching and developing a whole range of AI tools that will be able to forecast symptoms as well as diseases with a degree of accuracy that is just a little bit frightening.
Internally, these new developments have generated a lot of excitement. One of the Google researchers stated that it was wonderful to see their work finally having commercial applications.
Since the time that the internet giant re-positioned itself as an AI first company back in 2016, most of the company’s focus has been on improving current internet services. With these new advances, the tech giant can now look at entering an entirely new market – the healthcare industry.