Modern medicine has increased its demand for machines in assisting doctors in diagnosing diseases and illness. A study by the Huntsman Cancer Institute in 2013 revealed that, 6% of patients who undergo colonoscopies are left untreated for cancer.
Enlitic technology is the first in a wave of “deep learning” computer systems that use efficient software to decrease error margins of diagnoses. Founder and data scientist, Jeremy Howard, says that the Enlitic software uses patients’ medical history to formulate an algorithm that is then used to predict health outcomes. “The point isn’t to replace doctors,” Howard says. “We want to give them the tools they need to work more effectively.”
The artificial intelligent system uses machine learning to pool information from millions of patients who have experienced similar symptoms. The more data the computer collects, the more accurate the diagnoses are over time.
It may be long before this technology makes it to doctor’s offices, however. As it stands now, hospitals have distinct data-keeping practices that make it hard to find or share data between hospitals. Furthermore, each department locks vast amounts of medical information in servers known as “silos.”
Other barriers include the fact that many clinics still use paper to record data and patient information history. Dr. Ajay Choudri, a radiologist who advises Enlitic, says that, “A lot of older people have seven, eight doctors. All those charts are scattered in the wind and don’t really talk to each other.”
The Government Accountability Office is pushing for a move from paper-based to tech-driven methods of recording data. Recent legislation was passed that required hospitals to digitize their records in 2015.
According the CNN Money reports, Enlitic has secured $3 million in funding from hospitals and academic institutions. The company offers improvements in radiology, pathology, genomic, and electronic recording systems that make the technology a first of its kind. Enlitic Technology hopes to hit the medical market within the next couple of years.