…Technology now exists to provide cheaper and higher-quality health care, but giant roadblocks stand in the way.
That technology is artificial intelligence and machine learning. The algorithms behind AI are painfully complex, but the final product is simple—think Google Translate or Amazon’s Alexa. Saying a phrase and immediately having it translated is cool. Being told that your week of bad sleep and slight stomach pains could be cancer is life-altering.
Machine learning is already invading health care. Experts at Kaggle, an artificial-intelligence research firm, shared a few real-world applications of the technology with me: Predicting heart failure by looking at massive amounts of MRI scans, diagnosing diabetic retinopathy from eye imaging, and successfully predicting seizures with a machine analyzing electroencephalogram data.
The key is data. With more of it, accuracy gets better over time.
The linked article (which may require a login) makes the point that technology could be used to control medical / dental costs and would likely be more effective than current political proposals. Sadly politics may also stand in the way of effectively using the technology.
Who owns the data remains a major issue. Related to the ownership issue are issues of privacy and security. Do you trust the bureaucracy to keep your medical data safe? Are you OK with your medical data being used for research that could improve the human condition?
A third issue is opposition from entrenched interests (including dentists and physicians) who benefit from the current system.