Jörg Goldhahn, MD, MAS, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich, Switzerland says that artificial intelligence systems simulate human intelligence by learning, reasoning, and self correction. This technology has the potential to be more accurate than doctors at making diagnoses and performing surgical interventions. It has a “near unlimited capacity” for data processing and subsequent learning, and can do this at a speed that humans cannot match.Increasing amounts of health data, from apps, personal monitoring devices, electronic medical records, and social media platforms are being brought together to give machines as much information as possible about people and their diseases. At the same time machines are “reading” and taking account of the rapidly expanding scientific literature.”The notion that today’s physicians could approximate this knowledge by keeping abreast of current medical research while maintaining close contacts with their patients is an illusion not least because of the sheer volume of data,” says Goldhahn.Machine learning is also not subject to the same level of potential bias seen in human learning that reflects cultural influences and links with particular institutions, for example.
“Computers aren’t able to care for patients in the sense of showing devotion or concern for the other as a person, because they are not people and do not care about anything. Sophisticated robots might show empathy as a matter of form, just as humans might behave nicely in social situations yet remain emotionally disengaged because they are only performing a social role.”
“Patients need to be cared for by people, especially when we are ill and at our most vulnerable. A machine will never be able to show us true comfort,” they say.
Google has delivered further evidence that AI could become a valuable tool in detecting cancer. The company’s researchers have developed a deep learning tool that can spot metastatic (advanced) breast cancer with a greater accuracy than pathologists when looking at slides. The team trained its algorithm (Lymph Node Assistant, aka LYNA) to recognize the characteristics of tumors using two sets of pathological slides, giving it the ability to spot metastasis in a wide variety of conditions. The result was an AI system that could tell the difference between cancer and non-cancer slides 99 percent of the time, even when looking for extremely small metastases that humans might miss.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego are developing an m Health platform that can predict a consumer’s blood pressure from wearable data and offer health and wellness advice to keep those readings healthy.
Sujit Dey, Director of the Center for Wireless Communications at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Po-Han Chiang, a graduate student in the Mobile Systems Design Lab, developed an algorithm based on sleep, exercise and blood pressure data taken from eight patients who wore a Fitbit Charge HR and Omron Evolve wireless blood pressure monitor for 30 days.
According to their study, presented at the recent IEEE Healthcom 2018 conference, Dey and Chiang were able to track how certain activities affected one’s blood pressure. For instance, boosting one test subject’s activity helped lower average systolic blood pressure by 15.4 percent and their diastolic blood pressure by 14.2 percent in one week; while convincing another subject to go to bed earlier led to a 3.6 percent drop in systolic blood pressure and 6.6 percent decrease in average diastolic blood pressure from the previous week.
In New York, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association of New York City (UFOA), representing some 2,600 active members and 5,000 retirees, and digital health company Qardio have launched a remote patient monitoring program in which firefighters, both active and retired, are monitoring their blood pressure with the QardioArm mHealth device and Qardio app and sharing that data with their primary care providers.
Visitors stare at babies in incubators at Martin Couney’s New York World’s Fair attraction, 1939-1940. New York Public Library
The early part of the 20th century, Martin Couney’s sideshow attraction at New York City’s Coney Island featured premature babies in incubators. The relatively new technology offered infants around-the-clock care that hospitals didn’t provide. By one estimate, Couney saved the lives of 6,500 infants.
Developed for infants in the 1880s, in Paris, Couney first displayed incubators—with babies—at the Berlin Exposition in 1896. From there he traveled to more expositions, including an event in London in 1897 and the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901. But in 1903 he settled in the U.S. to run his babies-in-incubators summertime sideshow, which would continue until the early 1940s.
The ‘worried well’ will be sent into hyperdrive. There may be an influx of patients with potentially valid concerns about their risk of falling ill in the future.”There is unfortunately the danger that the unscrupulous of our profession could prey on the fears of patients, convincing them that treatment is necessary, where it is not.”
Apple has launched the latest version of the Apple Watch, which is one of the first mainstream devices available to consumers that can carry out ECG tests and detect a number of heart conditions, such as a low heart rate or arrhythmic beating.
Much of the current opioid crisis is based on people not being fully aware of what they are consuming,” Mr. Gebeyehu says. “We have seen a large amount of heroin being sold that doesn’t contain any heroin at all. What has been sold to users as heroin has in fact been solely fentanyl or a mixture of some sort.”
BaySpec, this cutting-edge device has been set up in a supervised injection site at Ottawa’s Sandy Hill Community Health Centre through a research project between Carleton and the University of Ottawa. When clients come in to use the supervised facilities, they can offer up a trace sample of their drug, then sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the technician as it is scanned.
Clients then must decide what to do with this information, will they continue to inject and use, are they are going to leave the sample with researchers to have it destroyed by the Ottawa police service, or are they going to maybe change the supplier they get their drugs from?
U of Ottawa assistant professor Lynne Leonard is the project lead. She says the service has already met with excellent response. Research gathered from this project will allow them to evaluate if the service is changing people’s behavior. “If they know there is fentanyl in what they thought was heroin, or if the heroin turns out to be cocaine, is this information changing their behavior?” Clients say they will spread the word about this research.
A California judge ruled on March 29 that coffee shops in the state must include a cancer warning label each cup of joe. Here’s more about the ruling and the possible coffee-cancer link.
If a lawsuit in California is successful, Golden State stores that sell coffee will have to warn customers that drinking a cup of joe may be a cancer risk, according to news reports.
The cancer warning label on coffee, which may be required under California law, has sparked a bitter debate and is now drawing criticism from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Roasted coffee beans contain a known carcinogen, a chemical called acrylamide. But it’s unclear whether acrylamide levels in coffee are high enough to pose a health risk to humans. Acrylamide occurs in overly cooked or roasted starchy foods, including coffee beans, french fries, potato chips, breakfast cereals and toast. It’s also found in cigarette smoke. The carcinogenic chemical is concerning enough that last year, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency asked people to “Go for Gold” rather than a charred color when eating starchy foods that could be burned.
The jury is still in Question on whether the levels of acrylamide in coffee can increase cancer risk in humans. While an increased cancer risk is shown in some studies, others don’t find any at all, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). These disparate results may occur because it’s challenging to quantify how much acrylamide people consume.
This week, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that such a label would mislead consumers more than it would inform them.
“Such a warning could mislead consumers to believe that drinking coffee could be dangerous to their health, when it actually could provide health benefits,” Gottlieb said in a statement yesterday (Aug. 29).