They say knowledge is power, but are there things we’d rather not know?
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston has developed a machine that can predict the probability of a patient’s death. It’s a supercomputer that monitors all of the patients at the facility and has been collecting data for more than 30 years with information from over 250,000 patients. This computer can give updates on a patient’s status, diagnose illnesses and anticipate the likelihood of death with 96% accuracy.
Dr. Steve Horng, an emergency room physician, is the team leader at Beth Israel for research and development of this supercomputer, along with other new technologies being applied in the medical field. “If the computer says you’re going to die, you probably will die in the next 30 days.” Dr. Horng reported soberly. While this may be very disturbing news as a patient, this technology also arms a doctor with a better chance for intervention.
“Our goal is not to replace the clinician,” Dr. Horng assured the BBC. “The artificial intelligence is really about augmenting a doctor’s ability to take care of patients.”
With this advanced technology, doctors can quickly identify diseases, which will allow for quicker cures. Every three minutes, the program receives updates from the patient such as oxygen levels and blood pressure. Dr. Horng told the Daily Mail, “The big picture is that we’re trying to harness the power of big data. If you come in, we can take everything we know about you, both in your current visit and previous visits. We can compare that to other patients with similar conditions, and predict diagnoses you might have in the future.”
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