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Landmark Experiment: Robot VS Human Doctor

Landmark Experiment: Robot VS Human Doctor
June 17
13:49 2016
As I wrote earlier this month, surgical robots are becoming more commonplace in today’s operating rooms. While these machines are currently being used as more precise extensions of a human surgeon’s hands, scientists are excitedly working on robots that will be able to learn and think on their own, eventually performing complete surgeries with human supervision.

That day may come sooner than you think.

“The world’s first artificial intelligence triage nurse will be pitted against the real thing this week, in a head-to-head contest that could mark a turning point in medicine,” reports the Daily Mail.

The AI program known as “Check” belongs to British start-up company Babylon Health and will compete against a doctor and a nurse to see which of the three most quickly and accurately responds to a variety of common health concerns.

27D1AC8000000578-3625685-image-m-49_1465086369115For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a “triage nurse” is the first step when a patient arrives at the ER. He or she assesses a patient’s condition and determines the level of emergency.

Check is a smartphone act designed to mimic a triage nurse. It asks users a series of questions designed to inform them whether or not their problem requires a trip to the doctor. Check does not provide a formal diagnosis.

More than 100 doctors contributed to the program’s algorithm, which is capable of analyzing thousands of problems with precision. “It’s more accurate than any human, just as a computer weather forecast is now more accurate than any human,” says Babylon Health boss Ali Parsa.

Steve Hamblin of Babylon’s AI team stresses that replacing doctors is not their goal. “I’m not in the business of putting a doctor out of business. I’m in the business of giving them a boost.” Hamblin adds that Babylon plans to push Check into areas of the world where people often have trouble seeing a doctor or nurse.

Babylon Health is excited about the upcoming competition and is confident that Check will triumph.

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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