Health & medicine Science & tech

Can regulators keep up with AI in healthcare?

As more and more AI and data-driven healthcare products are brought to market, how can regulators keep pace with this rapidly evolving technology and ensure it always benefits patients? Abi Millar finds out.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a force to be reckoned with in healthcare. Over the last decade or so, AI-based healthcare products have moved out of the proof-of-concept stage and have begun to rewrite our understanding of what might be possible.

To cite just a few examples: deep learning techniques have been used in dermatology to diagnose skin cancer, and in radiology to make better sense of CT scans. Surgeons are using robots integrated with AI, while pharma companies are using convolutional neural networks to identify promising drug candidates.

AI-based wearable devices are routinely used to monitor patients, flagging up any changes to their vital signs. There are even AI-based triage tools for Covid-19, which can determine who needs a PCR test.

For the foreseeable future at least, the idea of a robot doctor seems far-flung. But it’s clear that these emerging digital technologies will soon be important tools in a physician’s armoury.

Read the rest of this article in the September 2021 edition of Medical Technology

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