Jan 7, 2020

AI's health care hype

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two new studies highlight artificial intelligence's potential to improve patient care, specifically by aiding or improving cancer detection.

Why it matters: AI could create enormous benefits for patients and the doctors who treat them, but some experts warn that the explosion of new health technology could put some patients in danger, as the L.A. Times and Kaiser Health News recently reported.

Driving the news: Brain surgeons are using AI and new imaging techniques to diagnose brain tumors just as accurately as human doctors, but much faster, according to a study released yesterday in Nature Medicine.

  • Just last week, Google's health research unit said — in Nature — that it has developed artificial intelligence technology that can detect breast cancer at least as well as radiologists, WSJ reports.

Yes, but: "Many health industry experts fear AI-based products won’t be able to match the hype."

  • "Some doctors and consumer advocates fear that the tech industry, which lives by the mantra 'fail fast and fix it later,' is putting patients at risk ― and that regulators aren’t doing enough to keep consumers safe," KHN's Liz Szabo writes.
  • For example, a widely used algorithm was proven to discriminate against minorities, and many new AI products are untested and unproven.

The bottom line: We've got a long way to go before AI lives up to its hype within the health care system.

Go deeper: Medical AI has a big data problem

Go deeper

Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

1 hour ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.