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Artificial intelligence will change the future of healthcare

Artificial intelligence will change the future of healthcare

Artificial intelligence will change the future of healthcare

AlphaGo and Lee Sedol's match is making the whole world buzz. With the news of Sedol Lee's defeat, humans feel that artificial intelligence, which seemed far away, has come to reality, and are anxious as they imagine a future where artificial intelligence surpasses humans.

While many societies that have watched the development of artificial intelligence technology are interested in the future social changes caused by artificial intelligence, attention is paid to the fields that are expected to be greatly affected.

Healthcare is one of the fields where artificial intelligence is expected to replace the human domain. In the future, there is a prediction that the era of artificial intelligence to diagnose human diseases instead of doctors will come, and there are also predictions that the profession of a doctor may disappear. If so, how will artificial intelligence affect future medical care and what level will it be at the present time? Is there any other room for controversy?

IBM and Google are leaders in AI healthcare 

First, let's look at the level of AI technology in the healthcare field, where world-class companies have jumped into. Efforts to apply AI technology to healthcare are being made all over the world. Although the use of artificial intelligence in the medical field is still in its infancy, artificial intelligence is already being used in the medical field. In the healthcare field, IBM's Dr. Watson and Google's Verily are representative.

Dr. Watson, made by IBM, is used to diagnose cancer in patients. In addition to diagnosing cancer, it is being used in the form of diagnosis of other diseases, genetic information analysis, and clinical trials. Cancer biopsies are sometimes performed.
Dr. Watson, who applied machine learning technology, improved the accuracy of cancer diagnosis by learning medical information using big data. In fact, according to the data presented at the American Society of Oncology in 2014, the findings of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center showed that the diagnosis agreement rate with specialists was 98% for colorectal cancer, 96% for rectal cancer, and 100% for cervical cancer. IBM and leading cancer hospitals internalized a huge amount of medical journals and doctors' existing prescription records to make Dr. Watson suggest a treatment with a cancer hit rate of 99.9%.

IBM recently launched a health division to increase utilization in the healthcare field and is concentrating on full-scale technology development. After independent Watson Health Group, it is actively moving to expand its technology, such as acquiring companies with patient data management, data analysis, and imaging medical data and analysis technology.

Google, which created AlphaGo and made artificial intelligence a global topic, is also concentrating on the healthcare field.

At a press conference right after AlphaGo and Lee Sedol's first match, Google is active in expanding artificial intelligence technology in the healthcare field to the extent that healthcare and robotics are selected as fields to which machine learning will be applied.

Verily, an affiliate of Alphabet, Google's holding company, plans to add machine learning technology to the surgical robot being developed, such as showing the incision site to the surgeon in charge of the operation by analyzing the image library of previous surgery. In addition, Google's healthcare technology, such as a program that predicts diabetes based on eye photos, a pill containing nanoparticles that detect cancer cells, and a wrist-mounted device that can destroy cancer cells in the blood, will conquer human diseases and become the domain of doctors. These are technologies that can shake the
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet, Google's holding company, visited Korea in October of last year and said, "Machine learning technology will develop further in the future. Currently, people are doing the deciphering of radiographs, etc., but a computer might be able to decode the image better. . In the diagnosis area, I think that there are things that doctors can do better than doctors, so Google is currently conducting related research.” He predicted that artificial intelligence technology could replace doctors in the healthcare field.

Concerns that the profession of a doctor will disappear in the future

As the application of artificial intelligence technology to the healthcare field is gradually expanding, there are concerns in the medical field and in society that the profession of a doctor may disappear in the future.

The expansion of AI's medical field may be good news for humans seeking to conquer disease, but it remains controversial. There are concerns about the ethical issues associated with AI performing medical practices and the disappearance of the profession of a doctor. So, what do experts think about artificial intelligence technology entering the healthcare field?

Medicine is a profession that deals with human life. Ethical issues are raised about whether artificial intelligence can make medical decisions. Also, as with clinical trials, the double test between an AI doctor and a human doctor is controversial. One of the hot topics as the technology of artificial intelligence develops is the job that will disappear due to artificial intelligence. The same goes for doctors. As machines advance into the realm of humans, there are concerns that the profession of a doctor will gradually disappear. In fact, Silicon Valley's Vinod Khosla was controversial a few years ago when he claimed that "80% of doctors will be replaced by technology." There are various opinions on this, but experts argue that rather than worrying, we need to keep pace with changes and build new relationships.

It is said that the replacement of the doctor's role of an AI doctor is not technically or ethically possible, and it is necessary to think about moving forward in a cooperative structure rather than a confrontation with humans. It is also analyzed that it is necessary for human doctors and artificial intelligence doctors to focus on their respective roles.

“It is not technically or ethically possible to conduct a double-blind, randomized, controlled test that determines the superiority of artificial intelligence and human doctors,” said Choi Yoon-seop, director of the Digital Healthcare Research Center. Rather, it is a question of how we will cooperate with each other.”

“Even if artificial intelligence develops to a level similar to or more accurate than humans in certain medical fields, it is up to human doctors to decide which of the treatments offered by artificial intelligence to perform,” he said. He emphasized that it will not disappear.

“However, the role of doctors is expected to be different from that of the present, and the number of doctors needed may be reduced accordingly. There will still be roles that remain. It is necessary to focus on roles that will remain and roles that will be created, rather than roles that will disappear.”