The promise of AI (part one)

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | August 24, 2018
From the August 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

That comparison is important he says, because it seems very similar to what’s happening in healthcare. “While we’ve already had some of these tools for a while, with time, they’re going to become more embedded, more intelligent, to the point where we’ll be asking ourselves a few years from now how we were able to function without them before.”

In time, he believes there will be more diagnosis assistance, but it will require more validation, regulations and tight oversight. A few narrow-focused clinical applications have already been approved by the FDA. Once the level of knowledge and research builds along with the financial interest from technology providers, Prevedello foresees that clinical algorithms will expand much further in their capabilities. “I think soon enough, applications will be used in day-to-day clinical practice to augment our capabilities. We know that computers can extract a lot more information from the pixel data than we can perceive with our naked eyes. This can be used to improve our diagnostic capabilities or even go further to suggest the genetic profile of some tumors to allow more personalized and targeted treatment decisions.”

For all of Prevedello’s optimism for the future of AI, he’s a realist. “Although the evolution and development of AI applications has been happening at a much faster pace than we have imagined in the past, there is still a huge implementation gap. That’s why I think we need to work on standardization of the processes to allow us to easily integrate these tools into the clinical setting. It’s not an easy task to do. It takes a lot of people, a lot of effort. When we see all the news on AI, we have a perception that all these applications will be in our environment pretty soon. But the reality is that it takes a lot of effort to embed them into clinical systems. It will take longer than people are anticipating. “

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