The Cases in Which Artificial Intelligence Saved Our Lives

Photo: Collected

The world learned about Artificial Intelligence, or AI, as the way to make machines play chess better than people. Spielberg’s movie with the same name was more fantasy than science fiction. It was called “Artificial Intelligence”. Even so, there has been a lot of talk in the past few years about this technology and parts of AI like Deep Learning and Machine Learning.

Today, artificial intelligence is used in many fields, but the health field should be the one that interests us the most. And it’s because AI can get to places faster where it would take a person decades or centuries to get there. With the help of artificial intelligence, cutting-edge research can find cures for diseases faster and just as well as before. The result is that millions of people benefit from the work that people and machines do together.

When we need to sort through a lot of data and look for patterns that can help us solve health problems that affect thousands or millions of people, we can use hard-to-use technologies like artificial intelligence. And to make sure that a deadly disease stays around or is directly wiped out. Here are several examples.

AI and Big Data can help find cancer early

Not long ago, cancer was a synonym for death. Today, there are ways to fight and get rid of many types of cancer. And millions of people can move on with their lives. Mostly because they caught it early. Early diagnosis, or finding cancer in its early stages, is one of the best tools that medicine has to fight it. In this way, artificial intelligence has a lot to say.

In 2020, doctors around the world found 19.3 million cases. 2019 will have more than a million more than 2018. And there will be 30,2 million cases found by 2040. This is how a disease that kills millions of people every year can be stopped. The WHO says that it will kill almost 10 million people by 2020 and is one of the main causes of death around the world. And that’s why when we hear the word “cancer,” we think of diseases like lung, colorectal, liver, stomach, and breast cancer. to name the most dangerous.

As I already said, the best way to beat cancer is to find it early. And for that, it’s important to look at a lot of data and information. The good news is that we’ve had new ways to do this job faster for years. Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. In real life, data analysis makes it possible to look at the genome of each of the thousands of cells in a sample. And on the other hand, digitalizing the images turns them into data that can be used to make more accurate diagnoses earlier.

Algorithms and the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

Millions of people around the world have cancer, and Alzheimer’s is not far behind. In 2015, 47 million people around the world were diagnosed. Each year, there are 40,000 new cases in Spain. And it is thought that by 2050, there will be 130 million of us. The main cause of dementia and a disease that affects both the person with dementia and their family, since the person with dementia depends on their family as they get worse and worse.

Since it is a disease that gets worse over time, it is important to find it early. Science has learned that the first damage to the brain can start up to 20 years before the first symptoms show up. Even though there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s yet, it is possible to slow the brain’s decline. But it’s getting late. And once again, AI is very useful in this situation.

AI is used to tell the difference between images of a healthy brain and those of a diseased brain, just like it is used to find cancer early. It also makes it possible to divide the tumor tissue and sort the different diseases. Even more. With the help of artificial intelligence, it is possible to find a set of neurodegenerative markers that make it easier and faster to spot the disease.

And finally, AI makes it easier for companies like QMENTA, which has offices in Boston and Barcelona, to map the brain. In this case, they’ve made neuro AI tools that show the brain’s structure and let us see changes or damage in the brain’s tissues as well as changes in the way neurons connect with each other. Something that makes it easier to use machine learning, a type of AI, to automate the diagnosis process.

Telemedicine and artificial intelligence

Even though talking to a doctor is important, some health problems or questions can be answered with a simple question that both a doctor and a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence can answer. A way to make the work of health professionals easier and meet the needs of many patients who want to know more.

Chatbots can make it seem like they are talking to a person by giving automated answers. We will get one of two answers, depending on what we say. And in telemedicine, this tool can be very useful to offer care 24 hours a day and figure out if we need to go to the doctor in person or if we can handle it ourselves at home. Specifically, chatbots and AI can be used together to figure out the patient’s profile, answer their questions, and, if necessary, send them to a medical specialist. Adapted to each patient’s needs and always getting better thanks to machine learning.

But the combination of telemedicine and AI is not just limited to primary care or diagnosis. One example is at the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona, where the company Ephion Health is working with the Eurecat technology center and The Collider group. Using their own software, they can keep an eye on patients in the hospital or at home and use algorithms and Artificial Intelligence to figure out how well they are functioning. Using algorithms for artificial intelligence, the data is analyzed to create an index that rates the patient’s health on a scale from 0 to 100.

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