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AI Doc Episode 4: Are we there yet?

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AI systems that perform cognitive clinical tasks have been around since the 1960s. Robots that can perform any medical task are still far in the future. But where are we today? Are we on the cusp of an AI revolution in medicine?

AI i already s extensive use in medicine. For example:

  • AI software is used in radiology to segment organs in a scan and help radiologists focus on regions of interest (and has been for some time)
  • Robots are used to deliver materials in hospitals
  • Machine Learning is used in scientific discovery of new drugs and in the design of molecules, devices and algorithms before they are translated into clinical practice.

So in a way, one could say we are already there, but that doesn't mean we are done. Medicine is an area of incremental innovation. We can expect to see improvements in the way medicine is practice thanks to AI. We shouldn't expect to see revolutions in medicine as a consequence. Incremental improvements require better ways to measure patient outcomes, such as Piano, which may also use AI.

Further reading: BBC Tech Tent: Can AI revolutionise health?

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