AI, MD: How artificial intelligence is changing the way illness is diagnosed and treated

Will AI systems soon help doctors diagnose patients — and more? Image: iStock After IBM’s Watson cruised to victory on the game show Jeopardy!, the company decided the first area where the ‘cognitive computing’ system would be put to work was healthcare — a field of sprawling data, intense privacy concerns, and life and death outcomes. Since IBM began targeting healthcare as a sweet spot for AI back in 2011, the market for artificial intelligence in the industry has grown: in 2014, it was thought to be worth $600m, and is expected to reach $6bn by 2021, according to analyst Frost & Sullivan. Venkat Rajan, global director of the Visionary Healthcare Program at Frost & Sullivan, says AI in healthcare has “moved from nascency and pilots and proof of concepts,…


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