We’re Only Human: The Case for Computer Vision in Medical Imaging

Computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) is the next frontier that’s already here. As one of the more advanced technologies in the healthcare field, it’s helping overworked providers in the medical imaging space pinpoint a single diagnosis of a patient.

Why? Imagine a patient sees a doctor to find out why they’re not feeling well. The doctor can’t quite pinpoint the illness and sends the patient for an MRI scan.  When the scan comes back, the doctor wants to confirm the diagnosis, and so sends the patient for another scan. But this time, the scan comes back with a completely different diagnosis than the one before. Multiple scans offering multiple diagnoses? 

How Computer Vision and AI are Assisting Healthcare Providers

Errors like this are costly to the patient and provider as they struggle to determine proper treatment. So, computer vision is becoming relied upon more and more helping overworked doctors make the correct diagnosis  the first time.

Add AI into the mix and not only is the technology being used in medical imaging, but robots are being used in surgeries as well. What if these latest technologies could determine COVID bacteria to help create vaccines? It can.

Using medical imaging analysis, the aim was to try to predict the next sequencing or evolution of the bacteria. If this could be done, along with determining its adaptability, researchers could predict what might be next and help create a vaccine. Advanced technology like this shaved months off the traditional route and massive amounts of data to get a vaccine to people quicker, than say a vaccine for Tuberculosis (TB). These are just a couple of examples.

What to Look for in the Next Five Years

It can be a little scary to think about what we might see in the next five years. If you think about computer vision outside the medical imaging space, there are many other ways robotics and AI are entering our daily lives:

  • At the bank, a robot greets you and asks how they can help.
  • Robots flipping burgers, making coffee, or building a salad.
  • Robots in surgery offer a hands-off, non-invasive option for procedures. Robots are learning in real time, and learning from their mistakes.

This is the basis of an AI algorithm which is the machine continuously learning, and getting smarter and smarter. At the moment, we can shut them down, if needed. But what happens on the day we can’t?

But back to the medical imaging space. Computer vision and AI is ever-evolving and can help with a variety of diseases such as respiratory problems, cardiology, cancers, and radiology just to name a few.

There’s still a ton of research to be done, but here’s the thing. Imagine if the doctor’s could file through years worth of data to find an illness they hadn’t thought about since their school days, but that could help pinpoint their patient’s illness. Using medical imaging analysis they can. Not only will it save patients money and doctors’ time, but it will speed up treatments for the right diagnosis, and that’s good for everyone’s health.

It’s important to understand how these automatic systems can build upon and support doctors. Computer vision can make things much quicker, more accurate, and more efficient for a better patient outcome.

More complex problems arise every day. There are new diseases to treat no one has ever seen before. But when you combine medical imaging with AI, deep learning, and computer vision, the possibilities can go deeper than ever before.

Getting into the Field

If you’re wondering what it might take to enter this field, it’s a long road requiring the highest education available. Those individuals who have the background are most likely PhD candidates who have been in the space already for four of their five doctoral years. These professionals will have spent their time in research labs within a hospital system. They may not be doctors, but they are innovators in their field and of the world creating new products and services each day. These are the individuals always pushing to know how to make healthcare better.

There are a few schools who are ensuring the next generation of Data professionals within the robotics, AI, and computer vision fields get the best foot forward available. Carnegie Mellon offers an outstanding robotics school known as one of the best in the world. Its cost can be prohibitive requiring smart students who may not have enough funds to go to school in their home country, then come to the US for their robotics degree. Other top schools for robotics include the University of Michigan, the University of Texas, and the University of Georgia.

If you’re interested in computer vision, AI, NLP, data science, machine learning, or robotics just to name a few, Harnham may have a role for you. Contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.  

For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 – 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.
For our Southwest Team, contact us at (602) 562 7011 or send an email to phoenixinfo@harnham.com. 
For our Midwest and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

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