London medical firm Medopad and Chinese technology giant Tencent have partnered to utilize artificial intelligence in diagnosing the Parkinson’s disease.
A camera is used in capturing the way patients move their arms or hands in a bid to determine their symptom’s severity.
The research team behind this project has trained the system using existing videos of patients, particularly those who have undergone assessment by doctors working with London’s King’s College Hospital.
“We use the AI to measure the deterioration of Parkinson’s disease patients without the patient wearing any sensors or devices,” explained the Head of the Tencent Medical AI lab Dr. Wei Fan.
The aim of this collaboration is to expedite motor function assessment process, which normally consumes over half an hour.
Through the smartphone technology created by Medopad, the expectation is that patients could be diagnosed with three minutes, and may not have to go to a hospital.
Medopad prides itself on being a London-based company that has been creating applications and wearable devices for monitoring patients suffering from various medical complications.
Although Medopad has been growing rapidly, it is a minnow when you compare it with Tencent. Dan Vahdat, Medopad ’s chief executive said that there is no British firm with the potential to match what Tencent provided as a partner.
“Our ambition is to impact a billion patients around the world – and to be able to get to that kind of scale we need to work with partners that have international reach,” he said.
Wei Fan also stresses the scale of his firm’s ambitions, particularly in health artificial intelligence(AI) He said that the company is devoted to treating diseases that affect many patients.
Amid the US and China ’s competition over artificial intelligence(AI) leadership, some people may wonder if it is a smart move for a British company to partner with a Chinese giant, especially in a sensitive field like healthcare.
Wei Fan stressed that the project would be transparent and open. “We are looking forward to clinical trials in both China and US and other countries. We will strictly follow local regulations and when we have the results they will benefit not just one country but globally,” he said.
This undertaking is not the only one in town today as far as using such new technology in treating patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Two researchers based at Switzerland’s Institute for Robotics are currently developing a smartphone application that will require patients to conduct several exercises before analyzing the results by use of machine learning.
About 10 million people across the globe are said to be living with Parkinson’s disease. This number is anticipated to grow since the disease is a condition that commonly affects the elderly.
Currently, advances in artificial intelligence approaches promise to make things a lot easier for doctors, especially when it comes to prescribing treatment in a bid to lessen the symptoms.
This endeavor represents a growing trend today, whereby firms are trying to incorporate advanced technology in the healthcare sector, more importantly in the diagnoses of various diseases.