How artificial intelligence helps in health care

(Lauren Paige Kennedy/ WebMD) — When many of us hear the term “artificial intelligence” (AI), we imagine robots doing our jobs, rendering people obsolete. And, since AI-driven computers are programmed to make decisions with little human intervention, some wonder if machines will soon make the difficult decisions we now entrust to our doctors.

According to David B. Agus, MD, a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering, it’s important to separate fact from science fiction, because AI is already here — and it’s fundamentally changing medicine.

Rather than robotics, AI in health care mainly refers to doctors and hospitals accessing vast data sets of potentially life-saving information. This includes treatment methods and their outcomes, survival rates, and speed of care gathered across millions of patients, geographical locations, and innumerable and sometimes interconnected health conditions.

New computing power can detect and analyze large and small trends from the data and even make predictions through machine learning that’s designed to identify potential health outcomes. (…)

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