Friday, October 07, 2005

AI covers doctor's post

Here is an interesting story about using artificial intelligence to mimic doctors in the an intensive care unit of a hospital.

The coverage on Biotechnology Channel says, "A team of systems engineers from the University of Sheffield is developing an intelligent computer system which imitates a doctor's brain to make treatment decisions for intensive care patients. The system will take some of the workload from emergency medical teams by monitoring patients' vital signs and then evaluating and administering the right amounts of different drugs needed - a job usually carried out by specialist medical doctors.

The system models all the possible interactions between different drugs and patients' bodies, and then makes intelligent decisions about the best way to treat patients during heart bypass operations, and post-operatively. This unique system can decide on the types and quantities of drugs to give to patients in a matter of seconds.

The researchers say the system's ability to learn, adapt, and make informed decisions is unique: This new system not only monitors and treats critical patients, but it can also learn from the experiences of medical staff, who can override the machine at any time. If overridden, the system assimilates the doctor's input and uses the new information to make decisions about similar cases in the future."


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David Collin said...

Frankly anything that keeps doctors from making mistakes with medications would save many lives. A few weeks ago doctors overseeing my 99-year-old father-in-law prescribed two blood pressure reducing medications at once. Damn near killed him. Then when my wife challenged them on their rather whimsical way of prescribing drugs they "fired" her and told her she had 30 days to find another physician for him. The really bad thing is that it's happening every day to thousands of patients in this country.