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Posts Tagged ‘Health Care’

Israel Prepares to Unleash AI on Health Care

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2019

Date: 16-09-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

In a small country with digitized records, big data could make medicine cheaper and more effective

Israel plans to combine HMOs’ digital health records that cover most Israelis into a single system for AI and data analytics to tap.

Israel is becoming a testing ground for the power of artificial intelligence to improve health care.

Digital medical records for the vast majority of Israelis are currently stored in databases maintained by the handful of semipublic HMOs that provide most health care in Israel. While the biggest health-maintenance organizations already leverage their records in partnerships with private companies to develop technology for more advanced health care, Israel’s government wants to take such efforts to a new level. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use

Posted by hkarner - 6. August 2019

Date: 06-08-2019
Source: Scientific American By James DeGregori, Robert Gatenby

Principles of evolution and natural selection drive a radical new approach to drugs and prevention strategies

IN BRIEF

  • Medical efforts to defeat cancer typically focus on malignant mutations within a cell and administer large doses of toxic drugs in an attempt to eradicate the disease.
  • A new concept emphasizes that cancer growth is stimulated by changes outside the cell, alterations in the surrounding tissue that accelerate the evolution of cancerous traits.
  • The evolutionary approach, tested in animals and humans with advanced prostate cancer, sharply limits the natural selection of cancer cells through a more judicious use of chemotherapy.

This year at least 31,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of their body, such as bones and lymph nodes. Most of them will be treated by highly skilled and experienced oncologists, who have access to 52 drugs approved to treat this condition. Yet eventually more than three quarters of these men will succumb to their illness. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Drone deliveries are advancing in health care

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juni 2019

Date: 13-06-2019
Source: The Economist

No longer just in Africa, but in Europe and America too

A few years ago Jeff Bezos made a prediction. By 2018 his e-commerce empire, Amazon, would be delivering items by drone. Prime Air has yet to launch. But startups are making progress—mostly in health care, where they are vying to tap into a lucrative, $70bn global market in health-care logistics. As they deal with regulators and investors, these firms are charting the course for other aerial deliveries.

One of the best known is Zipline, based in San Francisco. It took off in Rwanda in 2016, where it is now a national on-demand medical drone network, delivering 150 medical products, mostly blood and vaccines, to hard-to-reach places. Maternal mortality rates are declining thanks to the delivery of blood. Other firms have used drones to supply medicines in Bhutan, Malawi and Papua New Guinea. Patients in many Swiss hospitals can receive results on the day a sample is taken. Zipline is expanding into Ghana and, later this year, into North Carolina, an American state with many out-of-the-way rural medical facilities. It wants to serve 700m people in the next three to four years. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Republicans are struggling to fix America’s dysfunctional health-care system

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2019

Date: 24-05-2019
Source: The Economist

Should Democrats win in 2020, they may not fare any better

“THE REPUBLICAN PARTY will soon be known as the party of health care—you watch,” President Donald Trump declared in March. “We’re coming up with plans.” Alas, like many of Mr Trump’s claims, this one proved untrue. Days later, following conversations with Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, Mr Trump admitted via tweet that his much-touted health-care proposal would in fact be delayed until at least 2021 after “Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House”.

Republican reluctance to embrace health care, despite the president’s best efforts, is understandable. On the one hand, America’s health-care system is woefully dysfunctional: the country spends about twice as much on health care as other rich countries but has the highest infant-mortality rate and the lowest life expectancy (see chart). Some 30m people, including 6m non-citizens, remain uninsured. And yet, though costs remain a major concern—out-of-pocket spending on insurance continues to rise—Americans say they are generally satisfied with their own health care. Eight in ten rate the quality of their care as “good” or “excellent”. Few are in favour of dramatic reform. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Amazon Wants You to Use Alexa to Track Health Care

Posted by hkarner - 9. April 2019

Date: 08-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Artificial-intelligence assistant meets privacy rules, giving device a potential daily role with patients

New features let Alexa schedule urgent-care appointments, check health-insurance benefits, read blood-sugar results and handle other health-care tasks.

Amazon.com Inc. is positioning Alexa, its artificial-intelligence assistant, to track consumers’ prescriptions and relay personal health information, in a bid to insert the technology into everyday health care.

Seattle-based Amazon says Alexa can now transfer sensitive, personal health information using software that meets health-privacy requirements under federal law. Five companies, including insurer Cigna Corp. , diabetes-management company Livongo Health Inc. and major hospital systems, said they developed new Alexa features for consumers using the federal protocol. The features let Alexa perform tasks such as scheduling urgent-care appointments, tracking when drugs are shipped, checking health-insurance benefits or reading blood-sugar results. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Warnings of a Dark Side to A.I. in Health Care

Posted by hkarner - 25. März 2019

Date: 24-03-2019
Source: The New York Times By Cade Metz and Craig S. Smith

Scientists worry that with just tiny tweaks to data, neural networks can be fooled into committing “adversarial attacks” that mislead rather than help.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device that can capture an image of your retina and automatically detect signs of diabetic blindness.

This new breed of artificial intelligence technology is rapidly spreading across the medical field, as scientists develop systems that can identify signs of illness and disease in a wide variety of images, from X-rays of the lungs to C.A.T. scans of the brain. These systems promise to help doctors evaluate patients more efficiently, and less expensively, than in the past.

Similar forms of artificial intelligence are likely to move beyond hospitals into the computer systems used by health care regulators, billing companies and insurance providers. Just as A.I. will help doctors check your eyes, lungs and other organs, it will help insurance providers determine reimbursement payments and policy fees. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A doctor’s hopes for digital medicine

Posted by hkarner - 23. März 2019

Date: 21-03-2019
Source: The Economist

Artificial intelligence can never replace human doctors. Can it?

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. By Eric Topol.Basic Books; 400 pages; $17.99.

For all the technological wonders of modern medicine, from gene-editing to fetal surgery, health care—with its fax machines and clipboards—is often stubbornly antiquated. This outdated era is slowly drawing to a close as, belatedly, the industry catches up with the artificial-intelligence (ai) revolution. And none too soon, argues Eric Topol, a cardiologist and enthusiast for digital medicine. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Doctor’s Prescription for More AI in Medicine

Posted by hkarner - 4. März 2019

Date: 04-03-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Eric Topol makes the case for how artificial intelligence can improve health care, despite privacy concerns

A Doctor’s Prescription for More AI in Medicine

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence is transforming health care. But its use doesn’t come without controversy, as critics ask if AI could further dehumanize medicine and erode the doctor-patient relationship.

Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director and founder of Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, argues the opposite in his new book, “Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.” The book, coming out March 12, makes the case that not only will AI improve the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, but it will also restore compassion to medicine.

Dr. Topol is a paid adviser to two AI health companies, Verily Life Sciences, a Silicon Valley-based company that used to be part of Google, and Voxel Cloud, a China-based company.

Here are edited excerpts from a recent interview:

A lot of consumers and even health-care professionals are wary of artificial intelligence. They see it as something that depersonalizes medicine. Obviously, you disagree. Why? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bill and Melinda Gates publish their annual letter

Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2019

Date: 15-02-2019
Source: The Economist

“Miraculous” progress in global health, frustration over education

Getting killed in a video game, receiving unfair treatment from a teacher, seeing a relative go to jail: the teenagers taking part in Chicago’s Becoming a Man (bam) initiative admit to a variety of frustrations, some trivial, some tragic, that can stir their anger. The initiative, which teaches young men how to regulate their emotions, aims to lower crime rates and improve graduation rates. Recently one bam group invited an unusual guest into their counselling circle: Bill Gates, the second-richest man in the world. So what pushes his buttons?

Mr Gates answers that question in his latest annual letter, written with his wife Melinda, describing the work of the $50bn charitable foundation they oversee. He admits to being “pretty harsh” with his parents as a child and “tough” on people at Microsoft. (“Over the decades I’ve mellowed out on that,” he says.) He also remembers “getting mad” at a meeting when he learned that polio cases were increasing.

In his first letter ten years ago, Mr Gates argued that a “maniacal focus on drawing in the best talent and measuring results” would make a difference in the foundation’s fields of interest: global health, development and American education. In health, he feels vindicated. The progress in research, vaccine delivery and statistical monitoring to which they have contributed is “more miraculous than the digital revolution,” Mr Gates says.

But in education, results are less striking: test scores have been harder to budge. Even in health, the eradication of polio has proven maddeningly elusive. In 2003 he thought the disease would be gone in a couple of years. But it lingers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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It’s Time to Fire Your Doctor

Posted by hkarner - 12. Februar 2019

Date: 11-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Andy Kessler

Medical tech allows us to monitor health, get advice and seek care remotely and cheaply.

Barack Obama famously and falsely said, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.” But . . . what if you don’t like your doctor?

Let’s say you, like me, are one of the 20 million Americans who work for themselves—no boss, but also no corporate-tax deduction for health insurance. The smart move is to get a high-deductible insurance plan. Now it suddenly matters what doctors charge: $500 to take your blood pressure and bang your knee with a rubber hammer, $1,200 for a blood test that uses pennies worth of chemicals to tell you your hemoglobin levels are fine. Plus four months to get an appointment, and then the doctor asks you to fax an authorization. What? It’s 2019. It’s time to fire your doctor.

Like roughly half of American adults, I’m borderline: hypertensive, high cholesterol, though only “pre”-diabetic. A streak of misdiagnoses has led me and many others to take doctoring into our own hands. I do an annual blood test for $199 through WellnessFX and get results on a smartphone app. A Bluetooth-connected cuff from Omron Healthcare tracks my blood pressure and even notes atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat. A Fitbit scale tracks my weight. Beautyrest Sleeptracker tells me my REM sleep duration. My Apple Watch charts my resting pulse and does a simple electrocardiogram. The more data, the better. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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