A Chinese Hospital is Gambling Big in Using AI to Treat Patients

A Chinese Hospital is Gambling Big in Using AI to Treat Patients
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Going to the hospital in China could translate to spending countless hours queuing for consultation, which only lasts for a few minutes. In response to this problem, a hospital located in Guangzhou’s southern metropolis is seeking to relieve the issue through artificial intelligence (AI). As such, the Guangzhou Second Provincial Central Hospital said that it had integrated artificial intelligence into nearly all areas of operation such as CT scans, patient pre-diagnosis, transporting operating-room supplies, and organizing patient records.

China is giving the United States a run for its money as far as becoming the foremost AI powerhouse is concerned. It hopes that robots can help in solving the doctor shortage problem in the country. As of 2016, China had 2.3 doctors for every 1,000 individuals compared to the UK’s 2.83 and Switzerland’s 4.25. Even so, the country’s increasing aging population is only adding more strain to its health care system.

China’s top voice-recognition firm, iFlytek, and Tencent, one of the country’s leading technology giant, are some of the main third parties working with the Guangzhou-based hospital. By using WeChat, a chat application owned and operated by Tencent; users utilize it to pre-diagnose themselves through the public account belonging to the hospital. In this case, an “intelligent physician” will ask a patient several questions, which are synonymous with a self-diagnosis exercise on WebMD. In turn, the program will recommend a solution by using the user’s answers as the reference point.

For instance, Zeng, a 23-year-old woman, was required to answer 24 questions, according to a report by local media. She was previously convinced that her abdominal pain, which she had experienced for a long time, stemmed from her digestive system. On the contrary, the artificial intelligence (AI) recommended that she visit a gynecologist.

The Guangzhou hospital said that it spent almost two years in building its current database. It used the period to study over 100,000 of its digital medical records gathered for 12 years. In addition, the hospital used more than 300 million medical records to train its AI tool. The records were drawn from other hospitals and date back to the 1990s. As a result, the artificial intelligence tool boasts an accuracy rate of more than 90 percent, especially in the diagnoses of over 200 diseases.

Aside from using Tencent’s WeChat, the hospital also utilizes facial recognition to build files for first-time patients. Upon recording a short video, the system then matches the image extracted from the clip to one that is archived in the country’s national public security system.

Despite efforts to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) in hospitals in China, the MIT Technology review cited that the country is yet to make it clear who takes responsibility when an AI system undertakes the wrong diagnosis. The matter is still not widely discussed in China.

Recently in China, a robot passed the nation’s medical license exams, making it one of the first ever robot in the entire globe to pass a national medical licensing examination. Nevertheless, the robot still requires a physician to approve the prescriptions and reports.

Source Quartz

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