Sunday, July 10, 2005

scanning medical records


via ray kurzweil's blog, a boston globe article on harvard's plan to scan 2.5 million medical records:

Harvard scientists are building a powerful computer system that will use artificial intelligence to scan the private medical files of 2.5 million people at local hospitals, as part of a government-funded effort to find the genetic roots of asthma and other diseases.
"If we could use routine clinical care to generate new findings without having to do multimillion-dollar studies, that would be a true change in the way medical discovery is done," said Dr. Isaac Kohane, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School who is one of the project's directors. "We want to use the healthcare system as a living laboratory."
[...] early test of one of the artificial intelligence techniques found that the computer was able to deduce the main reason for a hospitalization almost as accurately as a doctor, missing only a few times out of 200 case files, Weiss said. Now the team is working on software to extract smoking histories and other key information.

(what are those in the picture??? squid?)

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