Machine Learning Offers Doctors a New Way to Diagnose
The next time you head to the doctor for an expert opinion on what ails you, that doctor may actually be in the cloud. Through a culmination of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) advancements, diagnosis-as-a-service (DaaS) will analyze countless patient records to unearth buried patterns and provide more accurate diagnoses.
While you’ll still need human doctors to provide the bulk of your health care, new cloud services aim to leverage diagnostic information from thousands of patients and their providers to offer a very well-educated second opinion. But just how educated are these machines? Well, according to The New York Times, IBM’s Watson recently crunched the numbers on 1,000 cancer diagnoses made by doctors at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Watson not only proved to be 99 percent accurate to the human diagnosis but also found other treatment options the human experts missed in 30 percent of the cases.
Investopedia notes that spending on cloud services is primarily driven by systems that promote efficiency, such as data storage and business software. The health care industry spent $3.73 billion on the cloud in 2015, according to the source, and that figure is expected to hit $9.5 billion by 2020.
Machine Learning to Enhance Efficiency
While DaaS may fit neatly into health care’s efficiency spending, experts must still overcome security concerns. In an industry as regulated and scrutinized as health care, handing over sensitive information like electronic protected health information to cloud services will inevitably come with hesitation.
However, by offering newfound efficiency and accuracy to data, machine learning and artificial intelligence will undoubtedly prove too good to pass up. These benefits will likely prove too great to derail long-term investment in the technology from health care. As cloud computing’s security track record becomes more defined and its presence more generally accepted in the regulatory arena, machine learning and AI will undoubtedly make their way to center stage.