I was just reading an interesting article on the World Economic Forum website which speaks about seven interesting ways in which AI is being used today in healthcare.
Imaging seems to be a core application area and it’s not just about radiology. Skin cancer diagnosis for example. That’s an imaging and recognition problem.
Eye scans is another imaging application. It appears that the two areas where AI is already doing very well is in the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
I found the reference to brain scans and the corresponding imaging application very intriguing. The AI looks at the brain scan and is able to make a better prediction than a human doctor on the probability that a person in a coma will recover.
The radiology and cardiology applications. As also the interpretation of CT scans are more straightforward and intuitive. Here is a link to the article – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/7-amazing-ways-artificial-intelligence-is-used-in-healthcare/
I am looking forward to big leaps in diagnosis via imaging at a microscopic level and spectrometry. How great it would be to diagnose common infections or micro nutrient deficiencies or most of the blood work that a lab does today; by simply shining a light on a drop of blood or maybe through the skin or pointing a camera into the eye. The machine interprets the image and gives you an almost instant diagnosis. Not just of an existing disease but also the likelihood of getting one?
The nature of imaging and interpretation is changing too. Soon we will not have the need to get into big machines for images from inside our bodies. Imaging could be a continuous affair using devices we can wear. This is already true for ECG. If the work of people like Mary Lou Jepsen becomes real, that’s what we will have. And surprisingly she uses sound to look into into the body. There’s an article about her work here – link – https://medium.com/s/where-is-the-future/telepathy-could-be-real-are-we-ready-2750f11ddfbd
This will mean that diagnosis is not a matter of looking at an image and comparing it with a knowledge base of images. It will be looking at a series of images. Hundreds or thousands or millions of them to identify patterns that point at something amiss. This is the amount of data that a human being will never be able to handle. An explosion in data will necessarily require machines to interpret the data. That’s the future of imaging and AI in medicine.
Here is a Ted talk that delivers an excellent though well known insight which is the basis of rational decision making – “You can not control outcomes. You can only control processes.” https://go.ted.com/CtRj
Another way of saying this would be “Its of no use focusing on goals. It makes sense only to focus on the best set of actions that will get us to our goals”
This is the wisdom of the ages. We hear this not only from many of the gurus of today but is also baked into the folklore and cultural/religious heritage in almost all civilisations.
In the Bhagwad Gita, this is one of the most popular verses “Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kada Chana”. People interpret it in many ways. For me it is simple and clear – It says, “focus on the best process or set of actions that will get you to your goal. Focusing on the goal will actually hinder your chances of getting there.”
You hear the exact same thing from the Greeks. The stoics and others. In Seneca’s words – “The wise man regards the reason for all his actions, but not the results.”
You hear it said in a different way by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
The Buddhist interpretation of Karma is almost the same.
I am willing to bet that this simple piece of knowledge exists in every major philosophy and culture.
It’s good to have goals. So you know what you want to accomplish. After that it makes sense to figure out what needs to be done to get there and then focus only on the actions while course correcting along the way.
You can not control the outcome. Only your actions.
There are only four reasons I can think of, for people in corporate India routinely working longer than typical office hours.
1. You love your job and take on much more work
2. You don’t love your job and take on much more work
3. You are given much more work
4. You either think or you pretend that you have much more work
In the first case, congratulations! It’s a great place to be in. Do make time for yourself too. It will enhance your ability to work better, which is what you would love to do anyway.
In the second case, you are in the wrong job. Your employer or your manager is an exploitative jerk. Get out of there.
The third case is the same as the second. But then this could also be because you are the sucker who can be depended on to be a dumb mule.
The fourth situation is unfortunately the most common in corporate India. I would think over 80 percent of employees who work long hours belong in this category. It’s simply a case of low productivity.
The work could be done in 4 hours if these workers worked smart instead of hard (long hours).
Often it’s a problem of the environment. Too many time wasters all around you. Distractions, useless meetings, unnecessary documentation, excessive and totally unnecessary email communication and more.
It is also often about you. Your priorities at work. Your focus areas. How you allocate your time to these. Your ability to say NO. Your social media habits…
Here is a shocking statistic from the NFHS4 (National Family Health Survey) –
“Only 11.6% children (breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding) of 6-23 months of age receive an adequate diet.”
“The combination of high stunting, wasting and poor IYCF (Infant and young child feeding) stem from multiple deprivations and chronic malnutrition continues to be the dominant epidemiological concern”
Let’s rephrase the first sentence to say the truth plainly –
“India is a country where about 90 percent of the children under the age of 2 do not receive proper food or nourishment.” Jai Hind. Mera Bharat Mahaan. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
Shameful! Chulloo bhar paani mein doob maro. That’s for the people whose chest swells with pride when we speak of our country.
For the others, there is no shame. It is sadness. It is helplessness. It’s a desire to set it right. And a sense of urgency to act.
Where are we going wrong? Why are we allowing this mammoth tragedy to continue? What needs to be done to solve this?
Conditions like stunting, if not checked and reversed by the time the child is about 2 years old, tend to be a lifelong, irreversible problem.
Why are we condemning an entire future generation this way? Where are our priorities? Why is not 20 percent of the union budget (and not less than 1%) allocated to child and maternal health? Is this not the single biggest issue that faces us?
Read more here – and cry – https://indianpediatrics.net/aug2018/653.pdf