Healthcare CIOs should focus on data quality to maximize value of AI

Almost every industry is looking at the impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on it, but healthcare has been one of the most forward-looking because it has the potential of providing better patient care and can save lives.

The intersection of healthcare and AI has tremendous potential, and it’s because there are well over 100 start-ups focused specifically on bringing AI to healthcare. Over the next several years, the innovation in this area will explode as the ecosystems of companies in this area grow.

At Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Washington, D.C., this week, Ian Buck, general manager and vice president of accelerated computing at Nvidia, discussed how we just passed the “big bang” of modern AI where the technology will revolutionize the way we do things. 

For example, in healthcare, AI-based video analytics are helping radiologists find brain bleeds or tumors in MRIs that might be missed by the naked eye. This isn’t being done everywhere yet, but it is one of the more widely used examples of AI in healthcare, as machines can see things at a more granular level. 

Modern AI takes the process to the next level. Buck showed a slide with a monochrome image of a chest x-ray. AI was then used to color the organs different colors and then the image was sharpened to make it look three dimensional. (See below.) This is a process that Buck called “AI Super Resolution” where a neural network can take a highly pixelated image and sharpen it. Buck showed another use case where an X-ray of a hand was taken and super-resolved, bringing forward elements of the image that were not visible before.

nvidia medical imaging artificial intelligenceZeus Kerravala

Precision healthcare enabled by AI

Another example of modern AI in healthcare is precision treatments. With the medical industry today, patient treatments are given based on illness. Factors such as age, ethnicity, and body composition are not considered.  With enough data, AI can be used to develop a treatment plan that is specific to the individual. Everyone is unique, but the process of creating a custom treatment plan is far too complex for a doctor to develop manually. AI is proving to be an excellent tool to enable patients to receive precise levels of medication.

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