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Global experts discuss convergence of AI, medical sector
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2018.11.09 15:00
  • Updated 2018.11.09 15:00
  • comments 0

Experts from Korea, Israel and U.S. met here to discuss the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the medical field, at the 2018 Society for Medical Innovation and Technology (SMIT) and 2018 International Biomedical Engineering (IBEC) Conference Friday.

The speakers explained the present status of AI and what the future holds for the technology in the field of surgery and medical imaging.

Professor Kim Young-jae of Gachon University speaks about the benefits of AI in improving detection accuracy, during a SMIT/IBEC 2018 joint conference held at the Grand Seoul Walkerhill Hotel in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, on Friday.

Professor Kim Young-jae of Gachon University focused on improving detection accuracy through deep learning. “Deep learning has been advancing in impressive levels in the past years, and interest in related technology and application fields is increasing,” Professor Kim said. “Especially, it is becoming a core technology leading the breakthrough in computer vision and image processing in the medical field.”

Kim stressed that deep learning is one of the technologies actively applied to the field of medical imaging. “Using the technology can have a significant effect as various trials show AI can drastically improve the accuracy of detecting illnesses such as brain metastasis, glaucoma, mammography and polyp detection during colonoscopy,” he said.

Professor Yoav Mintz from the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel made his presentation on using AI in surgery.

“Robotic-assisted surgery has already been proven to be non-superior to regular laparoscopy,” Professor Mintz said. “To improve clinical outcome of robotic-assisted surgery we need flexibility, precision, reproducibility, and automated function.

However, the emerging group of AI researchers can achieve all of the matters as mentioned earlier with decreased costs, reduced workforce and increased safety, he added.

Mintz stressed that by using deep learning and AI, hospitals could increase the accuracy and speed of diagnosis, which in turn, will lead to better treatment and outcome.

Professor Yoav Mintz presents the various use of AI in the field of surgery, during a SMIT/IBEC 2018 joint conference session held at the Grand Seoul Walkerhill Hotel in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, on Friday.

Despite such benefits, there are still some hurdles left for AI to enter the surgery field, he acknowledged. “One of the most important issues are safety concerns, and a fundamental issue is patients don’t want to be operated by a robot as they believe computers should not be in charge of human lives,” he said.

There are also other problems such as what happens if the machine has technical failures and the possibility of the technology removing human jobs, he noted, adding that there is a matter of high costs and lack of governmental regulations to control the technology.

To improve treatment outcome, Professor Mintz pointed out that the medical community needs a system that enables surgeons to have better motor control, augment the surgeon’s thoughts, and assist them with automatic functions while serving as decision-support platforms.

Professor Ozanan Meireles from the Massachusetts General Hospital in the U.S. presented AI’s potential and limitation.

“The true potential of AI remains to be seen and could be difficult to predict at this time,” Meireles said. “However, we cannot deny that it has the potential of generating unprecedented changes to our healthcare delivery system.”

There are still limitations as AI cannot engage in human behaviors of empathy or sympathy and is, therefore, limited in its ability to establish any patient-physician relationship, he added.

Professor Meireles stressed that such interactions are significant because surgery at its core is an interpersonal relationship between a surgeon and his or her patient.

corea022@docdocdoc.co.kr

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