Artificial intelligence algorithms coupled with top data science can hunt cancer faster than an expert radiation oncologist.
The AI-based solutions created to target tumors for radiation therapy were developed using crowd-innovation techniques in the form of an online challenge with cash prizes.
Contestants across the globe submitted algorithms with the hope of improving cancer care by copying the accuracy of an expert oncologist in targeting lung tumors for precise radiation therapy — a process that takes doctors an average of 8 minutes and a computer just seconds.
“We can develop AI techniques to replicate the expert skill set of a human doctor in a specific task in treating cancer,” said Dr. Raymond Mak, radiation oncologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/ Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and first author of the research.
Mak said artificial intelligence won’t necessarily replace doctors, but assist them.
“Really what I imagine for the first applications of AI like this is to help support centers that don’t have the same level of expertise,” said Mak. But he added that the technology still needs time to fully develop.
“It’s like the driverless car situation …These machines are trained to replicate my human capabilities, they’re probably not quite ready to fly on their own,” he said.
Mak said that with the help of AI, doctors will spend less time on the computer and more time with patients.
“I didn’t go to medical school just to be on a computer, I want to help people,” said Mak.
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