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Technology could redefine the doctor-patient relationship

Rosie_MOD_Rosie_MOD_ Moderator
edited March 2017 in Society

Technology could redefine the doctor-patient relationship

Richard Vize
Richard Vize

From the Guardian UK

Artificial intelligence is already making inroads into the NHS and could have profound effects on the medical workforce

Artificial intelligence may not merely augment the pool of medical talent, but could begin to replace it. Photograph: Luca DiCecco/Alamy

Saturday 11 March 2017 20.11 AEDT Last modified on Saturday 11 March 2017 22.54 AEDT

Advances in clinical uses of artificial intelligence (AI) could have two profound effects on the global medical workforce.

AI, which mimics cognitive functions such as learning and problem-solving, is already making inroads into the NHS. In north London it is piloting use of an app aimed at users of the non-emergency 111 service, while the Royal Free London NHS foundation trust has teamed up with Google’s DeepMind AI arm to develop an app aimed at patients with signs of acute kidney injury. The hospital claims the project, which uses information from more than 1.6 million patients a year, could free up more than half a million hours annually spent on paperwork.

AI raises the prospect of making affordable healthcare accessible to all. According to the World Health Organisation, 400 million people do not have access to even the most basic medical services. Hundreds of millions more, including many in the world’s most advanced countries, cannot afford it. A key factor driving this is the worldwide shortage of clinical staff, which is getting worse as populations grow.

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At last month’s DigitalHealth.London summit, Ali Parsa, founder of digital healthcare company Babylon, argued that mobile technology coupled with AI makes universal access a realistic goal, while replacing doctors with intelligent systems will slash costs.

“There is no solution which can fundamentally cut the costs of healthcare as long as we are reliant on humans,” he said.


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