AI has the potential to transform healthcare by improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, as well as enhancing patient care and reducing costs. It can help doctors analyze X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, and detect abnormalities, such as tumors, fractures, or infections. AI can also help patients monitor their health and wellness, through wearable devices, smart watches, or mobile apps that can track their vital signs, activity levels, and mood, and provide personalized feedback and recommendations.
Cardiovascular medicine doctors and scientists at Mayo Clinic are combining AI with clinical practice for better care. Here are three examples that have moved from the research stage to use in the clinic:
- Helping people who have had a stroke. In emergency rooms, when people come in with a stroke called an intracerebral hemorrhage, they get a CT scan. That scan is examined by a computer trained to analyze CT data. This method has been shown to cut the time to diagnosis and limit brain damage.
- Preventing heart problems. Applying AI to ECGs has resulted in a low-cost test that can be widely used to detect the presence of a weak heart pump. A weak heart pump can lead to heart failure if left untreated. Mayo Clinic is well situated to advance this use of AI because it has a database of more than 7 million ECGs. First, all identifying patient information is removed to protect privacy. Then this data can be mined to accurately and quickly predict heart failure.
- Detecting atrial fibrillation (AFib) sooner. AI-guided ECGs also are used to detect faulty heart rhythms before any symptoms are evident. A faulty heart rhythm also is called atrial fibrillation.
IBM Watson Health developed Watson for Oncology, a cognitive computing system that helps oncologists diagnose and treat cancer patients. The solution uses natural language processing to understand the patient’s medical records, such as pathology reports, lab results, and clinical notes, and compare them with the latest medical literature, guidelines, and best practices. A list of potential treatment options is then generated, ranked by the level of confidence and supported by evidence and rationale. It also provides links to relevant clinical trials, drug information, and side effects. Watson for Oncology has been used by thousands of oncologists in over 20 countries, and has been shown to improve the quality and consistency of cancer care.
By enhancing learning outcomes, personalizing instruction, and increasing access and equity, AI has the power to transform every aspect of Education. It can help teachers design and deliver effective and engaging lessons, by providing feedback, suggestions, and resources based on the students’ needs, preferences, and progress. Students can learn at their own pace and style through adaptive and interactive content, such as games, simulations, and quizzes that can adjust to their level of ability and interest. AI solutions can also help students collaborate and communicate with their peers and mentors, by facilitating online discussions, group projects, and peer feedback.
Coursera is an online learning platform that offers courses, certificates, and degrees from over 200 universities and organizations around the world. Coursera’s solution enhances the learning experience and outcomes of its learners, by providing personalized and adaptive content, feedback, and support. It also generates quizzes and assessments, based on the learner’s performance and progress. It facilitates peer learning and interaction, by matching learners with similar backgrounds, interests, and goals, and enabling them to share their work, ideas, and feedback. Coursera has over 87 million learners from over 190 countries, and has been shown to improve the learner’s satisfaction, engagement, and achievement.
Duolingo is a language learning app that teaches 40 languages to over 300 million users. Duolingo uses AI to make language learning fun and effective by providing personalized and gamified content, feedback, and motivation. For example, Duolingo uses AI to create lessons and exercises, based on the user’s level, goals, and preferences. Duolingo also uses AI to adapt the difficulty and content of the lessons, based on the user’s performance and progress. Duolingo claims to be as effective as a university-level language course and has been used by millions of people to learn a new language, travel, work, or study abroad.
According to AI.gov, the federal government is leveraging AI to better serve the public across a wide array of use cases, including in healthcare, transportation, the environment, and benefits delivery. Strong guardrails are also being established to ensure the use of AI keeps people safe and doesn’t violate their rights. President Biden’s administration recently called for every U.S. government entity to inventory its use of Artificial Intelligence. Following are highlights of two use cases from the currently available inventory.
The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency implemented an AI-powered tool that enables the real-time exchange of machine-readable cyber threat indicators and defensive measures to help protect against and ultimately reduce the prevalence of cyber incidents. The algorithm provides an assessment of whether or not the information can be corroborated with other sources and provide a confidence score that indicates the confidence of the accuracy of information submitted. The solution also uses AI to perform descriptive analytics from organizational-centric intelligence. Together, these enrichments can help those receiving information from the tool prioritize action and investigative plans.
Every year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects and analyzes hundreds of thousands of workplace injury and illness reports, in order to develop guidance that can help prevent such occurrences in the future. The Bureau struggled to manage the workload of their employees, who had to read and analyze each report, then document the data using a complicated coding system. The process was time-consuming and monotonous, eating up at least 25,000 employee hours each year. Starting in 2014, the Bureau began to experiment with using AI to code the workplace injury and illness reports. Now, over half of these reports are handled using AI, which can code as much in one day as a trained employee could do in a month – with a higher level of accuracy. Bureau leaders recognized the importance of actively communicating the benefits of AI to employees, emphasizing that its purpose was not to replace them, but rather to allow them to focus on more complex and valuable tasks.
The Public Sector is proceeding with caution. AI is a game-changing and disruptive technology, that can help a wide variety of organizations transform their policies, services, and operations, and produce more value and impact. However, AI also poses some challenges and risks, such as ethical, social, and legal implications, as well as potential impacts on employment, privacy, and security. Adopting a responsible and sustainable approach to AI that respects human values, rights, and dignity, and that promotes the common good is the aim for every organization.