Monday, March 06, 2017

Miracles and Wonders: detecting disease without a doctor

Scans of head and neck cancers for DeepMind to analyze.
This item was in the news today:
Google's artificial intelligence can diagnose cancer faster than human doctors. The DeepMind system is able to scan samples to determine whether or not tissues are cancerous.
Making the decision on whether or not a patient has cancer usually involves trained professionals meticulously scanning tissue samples over weeks and months. But Google's artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer DeepMind may be able to do it much, much faster. The software can now tell the difference between healthy and cancerous tissue, as well as discover if metastasis has occurred.
Such high-level image recognition was first developed for Google's driverless car program, in order to help the vehicles scan for road obstructions. Now the company has adapted it for the medical field and says it's more accurate than regular human doctors.
Get this: this software began life to help cars navigate.

Lab on a chip.
Now there's also a “lab on a chip” system that costs less than a penny to make and can test cell samples for diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and cancer.
The technology could help with early detection of diseases in the developing world, where lack of access to equipment can lead to late diagnosis. “You can use it anywhere, as long as you have a printer,” says Rahim Esfandyarpour at Stanford University, who led the team that created the chips. 
Each chip consists of a clear silicone chamber that houses a sample of cells for testing and a reusable electronic strip. The electronic strip can be printed onto flexible sheets of polyester using a regular inkjet printer and conductive nanoparticle ink. Users can download different designs for the strip, which let it test for different things. The whole printing process takes just 20 minutes.
Finally, another item in the news.
University of Texas Arlington Professor Dr. Perena Gouma has invented a revolutionary device that makes it possible to diagnose flu cases at home.-- a flu breathalyzer. 
“I think it’s going to save a lot of people a lot of trouble, and a lot of money,” says Dr. Gouma. “Now, someone has to go to the doctor’s office, and the virus can infect other people. It might be an unnecessary visit if they don’t have the flu.”
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center ER Physician Ashkan Bidgoli says the method to diagnose the flu virus takes around half an hour.
This could save a lot of time for people stopped for driving drunk.

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