For years, artificial intelligence (AI) was considered a futuristic endeavor, one with an abundance of untapped potential. The all-encompassing ethos of AI—to serve humanity—lived in theory, not in practice.
That’s no longer the case. With AI automating the tedious tasks of our days—humming silently and instantaneously in the background—the future is here, now. It navigates traffic for us en route to work. It populates our newsfeed with content based on our preferences and patterns. It shuffles money around in our bank account based on intelligent investing.
And yes, it pores through petabytes (quadrillions of bytes) of data to save lives every single day in healthcare settings across the world1.
Where we are: clinical intelligence for across-the-board impacts
AI’s impact on healthcare is seen more prominently in imaging than any other area. Meeting clinical and operational needs at the crossroads of diagnostics, resource allocation, and data science, the technology has already revolutionized radiology in remarkable ways.
ProFound AI™ from iCAD on GE Healthcare's Senographe Pristina™ mammography system is one such example. Designed to accurately and rapidly detect malignant soft tissue densities and calcifications, the platform is powered by back-end algorithms that apply existing knowledge to new data sets. The solution helps alert clinicians to possible breast cancer cases by scoring potential malignancies on a scale of 0 to 100. By accelerating diagnostic outputs and prioritizing scans for human eyes, ProFound AI™ can supplement time-strapped radiologists or even potentially serve health systems without radiologists on staff. Either way, women can receive answers faster than ever thanks to the solution’s diagnostic intelligence.
Though the technology transforms the way specialists approach standardized and complex workups, the patients themselves glean the most impact even without realizing it. This is through more accurate diagnostics that help clinicians to detect health problems in earlier, more treatable disease stages—along with enhancing the scan experience itself, which the Senographe Pristina™ technology has anecdotally been shown to do—these technologies have brought forward incredible progress across the board2.
And that’s just where we are today. Tomorrow holds even greater promise.
Where we’re going: start-to-finish coordinated care
What ProFound AI teaches us is that AI has the momentum to usher in a new era for clinical excellence and patient experience, and not just at the point of care. Instead, we could someday live in a world where healthcare AI surrounds us everywhere. Sophie, a fictional character portrayed in GE Healthcare’s Vision 2030 narrative, suggests exactly that.
Set in the year 2030, the video begins with Sophie waking up on what seems like any other ordinary morning. The day takes a turn when a breast self-exam, powered by portable imaging technology made available at home, detects an abnormality in Sophie’s breast tissue.
From there, a series of iterations in AI help Sophie along her patient care journey—from categorizing the abnormality as a malignancy (thanks to technology such as ProFound AI) to determining Sophie’s individualized odds of surviving it. From start to finish, the narrative demonstrates what the future has in store for this technology on a woman’s most uncertain days: that of realizing she has the same disease that took her mother’s life.
Most important is the fact that the technology enhances—rather than replaces—the humans involved in Sophie’s care. Though AI surrounds Sophie on every step of her journey, her doctors are still very much a central part of her story. The machines, humming silently in the background, free those humans up to do what they do best: serve their patient in the most effective, and coordinated, way possible.
Such is the hope of AI, both now and in the future. Watch Sophie’s story to see it for yourself.
1. AI in Healthcare: Keys to a Smarter Future. GE Healthcare. https://www.gehealthcare.com/-/media/39507bfdedc2424f8213f054fe5685d0.pdf. Accessed April 30, 2019.
2. New Artificial Intelligence Breast Imaging Technology Demonstrates Profound Potential. GE Healthcare.
http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com/artificial-intelligence-breast-imaging-technology-demonstrates-profound-potential/. Accessed April 30, 2019.