artificial intelligence (AI)

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Robots in Healthcare - Will they do the Heavy Lifting?

There are already robots in health care.  Robotic surgery, delivery robots, robotic prescription dispensing systems, even therapeutic robots used in lieu of pet therapy  But we've just scratched the surface, because we still think of care as being something that is delivered by a person. People like to talk about the importance of the human touch, but when it comes to something like getting out of bed when I want to, I think I'd rather have immediate service from a robot than an indeterminate wait for help from an aide.  And there are some more unpleasant tasks -- like assistance with going to the bathroom -- where I'd prefer not to have to ask another person to help me at all.  Sometimes impersonal is better (just be gentle, please).

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Softbank’s Humanoid Robot Will Be Great For Tending To Japan’s Elderly

Adam Pasick | Quartz | June 5, 2014

The Japanese telecoms firm Softbank has unveiled a humanoid robot named “Pepper,” promising that it will be able to read and express emotions, and eventually serve as a medical worker, party companion, or even a babysitter...

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Sure Strategies for Improving Health and Education: 2020 and Beyond

Our paths cross as we enter a new decade and consider the next ten years can lead to marked improvements in healthcare delivery - something sorely needed but doable. To that end, we've identified three key developments that can and should be implemented. These are not the only needed improvements and avenues to be pursued; that would take a book or a longer article. So, we've focused on what are, for us, three of the most innovative possibilities. One added word: some of the three innovations or aspects of them may strike readers as fanciful or imaginary or over-the-proverbial-top. But, the speed with which technology is changing, the pressing need for solutions and our capacities to consider new paradigms for solving old problems are converging.

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Tech Giants Back White House Open Source Health IT Initiative

Six major technology companies have thrown their support behind the White House's initiative to use an open source, collaborative, approach to accelerate the progress of health data standards and interoperability and to give patients access and control of their medical records. The companies; Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce signed a pledge that was presented at the White House's Blue Button 2.0 developer conference. The conference took place last Monday. Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) told the press that “As transformative technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence continue to advance, it is important that we work towards creating partnerships that embrace open standards and interoperability.

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Tech Giants Pledge $1bn for 'Altruistic AI' Venture, OpenAI

Staff Writer | BBC | December 12, 2015

Prominent tech executives have pledged $1bn (£659m) for OpenAI, a non-profit venture that aims to develop artificial intelligence (AI) to benefit humanity. The venture's backers include Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, Indian tech giant Infosys and Amazon Web Services. Open AI says it expects its research - free from financial obligations - to focus on a "positive human impact"...

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Tech Industry Pledges to Improve Healthcare Through Open Source Health IT

Press Release | Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) | August 13, 2018

Today, ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield and several ITI member companies participated in the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference at the White House where they announced their commitment to removing barriers for the adoption of technologies for healthcare interoperability, particularly those that are enabled through the cloud and AI...“Today’s announcement will be a catalyst to creating better health outcomes for patients at a lower cost,” said ITI president and CEO Dean Garfield. “As transformative technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence continue to advance, it is important that we work towards creating partnerships that embrace open standards and interoperability.

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The Growing Rivalry Between Google and IBM

Greg Satell | Forbes | September 11, 2016

Still the growing rivalry is unmistakeable. Very few companies are capable of developing this type of deep learning technology and clearly, both IBM and Google are leading the pack. To be sure, other companies such as Facebook and Microsoft are also developing capabilities in this area, but up to this point at least, they don’t seem to have made quite as much progress.

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The Microsoft Empire Strikes Back: Makes Major Inroads into Healthcare

It seems deeply ironic that a week after I wrote about how even giant companies eventually get surpassed, I'm writing about the resurgence of one such giant, Microsoft. Last week Microsoft won back the title of world's most valuable company (as measured by market cap), passing Apple. Apple had that distinction since 2012; Microsoft hasn't had it since 2002. Admittedly, Microsoft was only able to pass Apple because a recent tech stock downturn dropped Apple from its record trillion-dollar valuation, and, as of this writing, Apple has pulled back in front again, but the fact that it is a race again says a lot about Microsoft.

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The Most Important Health Care Jobs of the Future

Fast Company ran an interesting article The Most Important Design Jobs of the Future, predicting 18 of the most important design jobs of the future (at least 3 to 5 years out).  A couple of them were in health care, and arguably all of them would have some impact on health care, but I thought it might be fun to do a similar list specific to health care, and not limited to design. Let's hope no one comes back in a few years to show how wrong I was. I'll skip the usual suspects -- e.g., doctors, nurses, pharmacists.  Yes, those jobs will (almost) certainly still be around, but they may not be central as they are today.  And those jobs will evolve in ways that reflect the trends illustrated by the jobs I list...

The Next Generation of EHRs Will Be Fundamentally Different

Robert Rowley | CIO | March 29, 2017

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have come a long way. Over 80 percent of physicians use them in their offices, and nearly all hospitals have implemented EHRs as well. Spurred by the HITECH portion of the 2009 Recovery act, Meaningful Use has put money on the table for physicians and hospitals to adopt and use EHRs. It also defined what kinds of features an EHR must have in order to be Certified. Legacy systems took on these new requirements by adding to their offerings (sometimes referred to as “bolt-on solutions”)...

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The Renaissance Continues for Open Source Artificial Intelligence

Sam Dean | Ostatic | November 10, 2016

Recently, in an article for TechCrunch, Spark Capital's John Melas-Kyriazi weighed in on how startups can leverage artificial intelligence to advance their businesses or even give birth to brand new ones. As a corollary avenue on that topic, it's worth noting that some very powerful artificial intelligence engines have recently been open sourced. Quite a few of them have been tested and hardened at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other companies, and some of them may represent business opportunities...

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The Robots Are Coming...to Healthcare!

Ready or not, there are robots in your future.  And some of them will be for health care. There has been growing concern that the rise of robots, along with artificial intelligence (AI), will create huge impacts on jobs.  Within the last few months both McKinsey and PwC have issued white papers on the topic.  The former found that nearly half of jobs have the potential to be automated (although most not totally), while the latter expects 38% of U.S. jobs at at high risk of automation within 20 years. Health care is not high on most lists of sectors whose jobs are soonest to be heavily impacted by robots, but it is on the list -- and it will happen...

The State Of Artificial Intelligence

Kathryn Sadasivan | FedScoop | June 25, 2013

In recent years, the U.S. military has increased its focus on artificial intelligence to enhance war-fighting capabilities, shore up mission critical programs and even support mental health work. Today, FedScoop brings you a closer look at just a few of these fascinating AI programs and what they bring to the federal government table. Read More »

This Actually Is a Test

When it comes to health care, testing is not what it used to be, or what it is going to be in the not-too-distant future. For example, confirmation of a cancer diagnosis is getting much easier.  The New York Times reported that blood tests -- known as "liquid biopsies" -- have now been shown to generally match the results of a tumor biopsy.  The blood tests look for DNA fragments from the tumor that signal its presence.  The liquid biopsies are useful for both detecting the presence of a tumor and its ongoing monitoring. The current generation of tests are not perfect, with as many as 15% of tumors not generating enough DNA to be detected, but they do offer the advantage of not requiring an invasive procedure...

To Err Is Human, To Diagnose Artificial Intelligence is...?

A new study found that physicians have a surprisingly poor knowledge of the benefits and harms of common medical treatments.  Almost 80% overestimated the benefits, and two-thirds overestimated the harms.  And, as Aaron Carroll pointed out, it's not just that they were off, but "it's how off they often were." Anyone out there who still doesn't think artificial intelligence (AI) is needed in health care? The authors noted that previous studies have found that patients often overestimate benefits as well, but tended to minimize potential harms.  Not only do physicians overestimate harm, they "underestimate how often most treatments have no effects on patients -- either harmful or beneficial"...