Google AI can predict when patients will die

Leon Neal  Getty Images

Leon Neal Getty Images

The program will be able to predict not only the probability of death or recovery of the patient, but also time spent in hospital and the chances of recurrence. The team has found some early results that indicate the accuracy rate of Google's AI is more than hospital's own death predicting systems.

A new artificial intelligence-powered system created by Google is able to predict, with awesome accuracy, if a patient will die within 24 hours from the time of admission into a hospital.

A trial of the machine-learning algorithm has shown that it can predict the likelihood of death with 95 percent accuracy, which is much better than the early warning score system now used in hospitals. The neural network in the study uses an vast amount of data, including information about the patient's medical history and vitals.

Google's Medical Brain, in testing, has been able to disseminate even doctors' notes scribbled on old charts, or memos scratched into the margins of PDFs.

Besides prediction, the deep learning model has been used to recognise the patient's condition.

These medical records are just part of Google's AI health care plans. The AI hoovers up health info and then predicts it far faster and accurately than existing techniques.

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Google's software impressed the experts by accessing over 175K data points which were not available earlier.

The process of machine learning makes the Artificial Intelligence smarter over time.

These all have massive implications for healthcare, both in terms of improving a patient's odds and experience, but also in administrative and organisational benefits, which could free up cash for better patient care. The person described existing hand-coded models as "an obvious enormous roadblock" in healthcare. "Companies like Google and other tech giants are going to have a unique, nearly monopolistic, ability to capitalize on all the data we generate", says Andrew Burt, chief privacy officer for data company Immuta.

Few companies are better poised to analyze this organism than Google. To commercialize an offering, Google would first need to get its hands on more records, which tend to vary widely across health providers. It knows the weather and traffic. The Dean's health research unit has unfurled AI systems for cardiology, ophthalmology and, radiology.

They also developed a way to show clinicians what exact data its model "looked at" for each patient it predicted an outcome for. The deals with UCSF and the University of Chicago aren't commercial. Once these algorithms can reliably be used in clinics and hospitals, Google's dominance in this area could be consolidated.

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