June 9, 2017


Goodbye doctors, hello robots (TRISTAN GREENE, 6/08/17, Next Web)

The future of healthcare isn't more Doctors: it's more programmers. The Stanford University AI Lab has been making the tech-site rounds with 'Woebot' a new offering that uses Facebook messenger to check in with patients. It asks questions and plays games until it has collected enough data to make treatment suggestions.

That may not quite be on par with the traditional image of a soft-spoken head-shrinker directing you through a breakthrough about your mother - or the fistful of pills approach that many psychiatrists advocate today. It is, however, a pretty cool start; even if it is a little basic.

Elsewhere in the field researchers have used AI bots like Ellie to learn about PTSD by observing veterans as they responded to specific questions. The data collected wasn't then converted into a treatment program as is the intent of Woebot, but it helps advance the study of trauma-related stress and anxiety disorders.

When I got my smartphone it started tracking my steps, which allows me to the perform most basic of real-time analysis concerning my daily fitness trends. Take that idea, a fitness tracker like Samsung Health, and expand it infinitely.

Sensors and user input only go so far, the current return is nothing more than anecdotal research with only a modest amount of personalization. Artificial intelligence could be used to find a non-invasive treatment plan tailored to fit me -- without drugs or mountains of insurance paperwork. I need a real-time treatment plan that adjusts to me, not a therapist who will see me on Tuesday.

Posted by at June 9, 2017 6:02 AM