AI in Health Sector outperforming traditional Medical Science

Today Health Sector is not just about medical science that can prescribe us medicines or operate some parts of body. Health Sector of 21st century include electronic engineers, mechanical engineers and programmers apart from the regular medical practitioners. Today health sector has gone beyond treating diseases and disabilities, today it is enhancing the capabilities of human body with help of those scientific equipment which were previously just a part of science fiction movies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping health sector in designing those equipment that can help doctors in diagnosing a disease with more accuracy, operating a medical condition with robotic hands, peeking inside human body with nano-technology or creating prosthetic legs that can work better than a natural one.

Lets look at some modern marvels of health sector made with use of AI and engineering.

Hugh Herr Bionics

Dr Hugh Herr, an MIT professor, lost both his legs due to tissue damage and now he is designing bionic legs that are better than anything else on the planet. Recently he demonstrated his own bionic legs and how he along with his team made a dancer, who lost her one leg in a terrorist attack, dance on the TED stage with a bionic leg. Bionic legs made by Dr Herr don't just look better, but also communicate with our brain through the nervous system, just like a natural leg. Artificial intelligence (AI) used in these artificial organs is not just helping overcome the difference between disability and ability, but also making them better than a normal human being in some cases. This technology can be used in future to make exoskeletons that can help normal humans in doing tasks which are beyond the capability of normal human muscles. This technology is certainly superhuman and need special attention for betterment of mankind.

AI Radiologist

Researchers from Google Health and Imperial College London designed and trained a computer to detect breast cancer from x-ray images. The AI computer model finally prepared was found to be far better than two experienced human radiologists working together. When its results were compared with human radiologist's results, it showed reduction of 1.2% in false positives (where human radiologists diagnosed cancer mistakenly) and reduction of 2.7% in false negatives (where human radiologists diagnosed nothing, while it was cancer positive). An AI computer radiologist can work tirelessly. A human takes oven a decade of training as a doctor and specialist to be radiologist. Most of the countries are facing shortage of radiologists which is delaying cancer diagnosis and endangering lives of people. Putting AI technology to this use can help medical sector to great extent.

Bioelectronic Implants

Most of us know that our body works through electricity that passes signals from brain to different parts of body through nervous system. This particular science that deal with electronics inside human body is known as bioelectronics. Damage of  nerves result in some specific diseases, due to lack of electric signals. As researches are progressing we have found the specific nerves and the organs that they are stimulating. This system is more complex then just moving some muscles or body parts. For example : Pacemaker sends electronic signals to sinus node in your heart, which contracts your heart to pump blood. The very first pacemaker was implanted in 1958, but today this science has developed a lot. Now there are silicon-based sensors that once implanted can dissolve after use which reduces the need of invasive procedures to get them out. These implants can monitor temperature, sense the pressure/ strain, track the healing of tendons in realtime and map electrical activity in brain. Researchers have made ingestible electronic capsule which can be swallowed and then it transmits pH levels, pressure levels, temperature and different gases level in different parts of the gut. It is capable of detecting gastrointestinal bleedings. Before such devices come for general public usage, data privacy and security are a major concern.

Robotic Surgery

All of us are familiar with laparoscopy surgery where a camera is inserted in abdominal region to perform minimum invasive surgery.
  • During year 2000, da Vinci Surgical System was approved by FDA which put robotic surgery to next level, in which a trained surgeon operates using the robotic hands while sitting on a console where he/she can monitor the site in 3D. Usage of robotic arms enhances precision, flexibility and control and often performs minimally invasive surgery.
  • CorPath System Robot can perform remote surgery and depends on a high speed wi-fi connection. Recently in India, a stent was planted inside the patient by a surgeon sitting 20 miles away within 15 minutes.
  • Monarch Platform has made surgical robots that can be used for several surgical procedures without making any incision. This robot uses natural openings in human body to send the camera and other tools inside the body. The primary target of manufactures of this robot is lung cancer.
  • Mako Rio is a robot specially made for knee surgeries. It prepares 3D models of patients knee using the scans before, and surgeon can plan the whole procedure and even the alternatives in advance.
Looking at the technological advancement that day is not far when surgeon sitting in one country will operate in other using the robotic hands, with precision more than his own hands.
Looking at all these technologies, it is fairly understood that medical science is no longer a study of just human body, but now it includes engineering of all streams to prepare gadgets helpful in medical intervention.

Reference:

  • https://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance/transcript?language=en#t-90720
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/health-50857759
  • https://www.nature.com/articles/s41928-018-0113-1
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