Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the peak of its hype cycle and laden with expectations of what “could be” in the future. Yet, there are many layers of AI, and many of the most accessible opportunities are in healthcare and life sciences. Healthcare data is being collected and analyzed, revolutionizing the industry and making what was once impossible, possible. With the emergence of AI and machine learning, the industry is simply becoming faster and more accurate. From identifying health risks, to speeding diagnoses, to monitoring and treating the most vexing health conditions, all become faster with AI.
The GovDataDownload editors had the opportunities to sit down with David LaBrosse, NetApp Global Solutions Manager, Genomics, to discuss the impact of AI in healthcare and get a preview of what to expect from the Bio-IT World Conference, which is set to take place in Boston next week.
LaBrosse told us that the overarching theme he sees is speed. He gave us three examples of where he sees the most opportunities for AI and machine learning to make a significant impact:
Genomics: In genomics, acceleration is key. It helps identify health risks and diseases faster, as well as impacts research for cures. Not only does AI accelerate the research, but by taking the secondary analysis tier in genomics throughput and analyzing the data, it enables researchers to identify mutations and biomarkers much faster. “AI is accelerating discoveries,” LaBrosse tells us. “And those discoveries are paving the way to personalized treatment pathways and the practice of precision medicine.”
Medical Imaging: Specialized AI applications can support radiologists by “triaging” stacks of images. By sorting out the normal images—those that do not suggest the presence of disease—the radiologist can focus on the images that show anomalies or indicators of disease. This allows specialists to focus on diagnosing and treating disease rather than sifting through endless piles of images.
“AI tools can be used as an augmentation,” according to LaBrosse. “It’s very exciting because you are taking an existing practice such as imaging, and you are enhancing it with another layer of AI – either with the use of computational algorithms or imaging comparison — which allows clinicians to identify and diagnose faster.”
Telemedicine and Telehealth: The opportunities from telehealth have been abundant, but the outcomes thus far, have not reached full potential. There is an opportunity for AI to make a real impact in this area of healthcare. As technology is improving and getting better, the Internet of Things (IoT) is adding both value and complexity to telehealth.
“AI will bring it all together,” according to LaBrosse. “AI will aggregate and analyze multiple sensor reads, process the data, and not only trigger an alert, but will also take the next step to give information on what might be wrong.” According to LaBrosse, the computational power of AI to analyze multiple sensor reads and add intelligence to the data to it to determine if there is an error with the device, or if it’s a real issue like an elevated heart rate. By identifying potential diagnosis, if it is a heart issue, an alert can be sent directly to nurses at a call center so the issue can be addressed immediately.
All these scenarios of AI impacting healthcare are early stage, according to LaBrosse, but its promise will be top of mind during the Bio IT World Conference and Expo next week. The event brings together over 3,400 life sciences, pharmaceutical, clinical, healthcare and IT professionals for a collaborative three-day event.
“We come together to share ideas and discoveries at this event,” Labrosse says. “But we also come together because each of us have a piece of the puzzle to achieve precision medicine.”
Learn more about what NetApp offers at Bio IT World:
- Visit the NetApp booth #642 to learn how high-volume genomic data management speeds collaboration, discovery, and care.
- Attend Faster Genomic Data with Michael Hultner, PetaGene, and David LaBrosse, NetApp on Wednesday, April 17 at 12:00 noon.
To learn more about NetApp and its solutions for genomics data, visit netapp.com/us/genomics.