Healthcare AI Receives US Budget Boost
The latest US budget proposal from Donald Trump’s government was released yesterday with mixed response. A range of cuts have been proposed but despite the lows, one particular highlight is for AI technology. The research and development aspect of the proposal has outlined an emphasis on AI and since here at First Derm we are at the forefront of Dermatology AI technology, we’re here to explain what this might mean for the future.
What is the Research Budget?
In short, this budget covers almost all spending for US government but we’ll be focussing on the Research and Development budget changes. As outlined in Science Mag there have been some big red lines in this proposal, particularly for areas such as NASA Science, agriculture, energy and more. There have, however, been some interesting developments for AI. As described by the administration, the government is prioritizing the science and technology that underpins the Industries of the future; AI, Quantum Information Science, 5G, Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing have all seen significant increases in available funds. Importantly, the budget highlights ‘non-defense AI R&D’ as a part of their commitment to double federal AI investments by 2022.
So Why Is This Important For Healthcare AI?
This increased budget is a statement of intent and recognition by the US authorities that AI is to become a vital tool in the years to come. The US is determined to maintain their position as the global leader for science and technology. In recognising AI as a key part of this development, we can only hope it encourages advances in the technology sooner rather than later. By opening up more funds we could see the technology being used more frequently in our day-to-day lives and crucially, in our healthcare.
What does AI do for Healthcare Anyway?
By this point you may be wondering how beneficial AI actually is for healthcare and despite our bias, we’re here to tell you the research shows it is very beneficial indeed! Let’s take this recent study as an example, where AI technology was used within hospitals and testing on over 75,000 patients. With AI they were able to accurately predict hospital mortality rates of patients in order to decide the best method of care. As it stands 2% of patients in US hospitals die during the admission stage and if hospitals were able to identify patients at high risk of in-hospital mortality then this would improve decision-making and outcomes for all patients involved.
This is just one example of the kind of support and range that AI technology is able to provide. In this case it is predicting hospital mortality rates, in our own studies here combined with that of recent studies by Google AI technology has proven time and again that it is more accurate than a doctor and nurse in providing a result on skin diseases, rashes, moles and spots. In fact, AI is now reaching the same accuracy levels as Dermatologist and this is only going to improve.
Although AI can seem like a daunting prospect, especially in film and media, the research is demonstrating the clear benefits and advantages AI is set to introduce into our daily lives. The US government is now recognising the potential AI has in reducing costs, increasing life expectancy and lightening the burden on our overworked medical professionals. This can only be a positive for the future of healthcare. If you’d like to test out our AI and see what all the fuss is about then head to our dermatology AI page for more information and a free test!
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, Alumni UC Berkeley. My PhD thesis is on Digital Health and I published 5 peer review scientific papers on teledermatology.