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Artificial intelligence: It’s about TIME

In the second of our two-part look at the Longevity implications of TIME’s 2019 Best Inventions list (following Agetech), we take a look at the AI-flavoured developments included on the list.

Trends in Pharmacological Sciences said they “expect the convergence of AI and aging research to accelerate, given the emergence of longevity biotechnology as a standalone industry [1].” From crunching the data in our wearable tech to machine learning algorithms, AI is seeping into every area of Longevity research. Here are our favourites from the TIME winners.

Backing up the human radiologist searching for signs of cancer, QuantX uses AI-enabled software to analyse MRI scans and confirm or question a diagnosis. Approved by the FDA in 2017, it demonstrated a 39% reduction in missed cancers and a 20% improvement in overall accuracy during trials.

BrainRobotics have developed a prosthetic hand that is the first to use an algorithm which allows the hand and its user to learn from each other. The intuitive AI ensures the user can enjoy unlimited gestures and grips, each more lifelike that those that went before. The hand processes muscle signals from the user’s arm via eight multichannel electromyography sensors in the wrist, meaning grips and hand motions are far more accurate.

 

Although Moxi, a robot developed by Diligent Robotics, is designed to remove routine errands such as delivering lab samples and paperwork, or removing soiled linen bags, from an overstretched nursing team, the Longevity.Technology team think that it has a very bright future. Once Moxi has proved itself adept at covering the 30% of non-patient tasks that nurses spend their shifts on, we can see it might be deployed on straightforward nursing tasks such as delivering dispensed medication, taking swabs or changing dressings, freeing up nursing staff for more patient interaction.

Designed for short-staffed clinics in South Africa with long queues, the Pelebox smart locker has rollout potential for more developed countries. It lets registered patients pick up prescriptions from secure kiosks by using a single-use SMS code. In South Africa the lockers have delivered more than 10,000 prescriptions with an average wait time of under a minute. Amazon pick-up lockers have certainly caught on, so perhaps being able to collect your prescription 24/7 without relying on overworked pharmacists and non-business friendly opening hours will do likewise. We certainly think so.

Failing bodies need operations; 300 million surgeries performed worldwide each year, 50 million of which involve complications. 3 million have a fatal result. However, the OR Black Box aims to do for surgery what the black box has done for flight safety. The OR version of a plane’s flight recorder records audio, video and patient vital signs, as well as feedback from electronic surgical instruments, This allows hospitals to store and analyse the data, using it to improve outcomes and flag operating weaknesses.

[1] https://www.cell.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0165-6147%2819%2930114-2

Image credit: Panumas Nikhomkhai from Pexels
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.
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