The Economist speaks to NIHR researcher Dr Pearse Keane for video on A.I. in healthcare

The Economist has made a short film about the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in healthcare entitled ‘How A.I. can make health care better’. It explores how A.I. is transforming the way patients are diagnosed and treated, and is making it easier and cheaper to test new medical procedures. You can watch the video below.

“The world is facing a big medical problem… A growing number of patients. And not enough doctors to treat them. So could artificial intelligence be the cure?”

The film includes interviews with several pioneers in the field of medical A.I., including Dr Pearse Keane, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Pearse is also Professor of Artificial Medical Intelligence at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and an NIHR Moorfields BRC-supported investigator.

Pearse talks about the groundbreaking collaboration between Moorfields and DeepMind to develop an algorithm capable of detecting over 50 eye conditions using a simple OCT eye scan (optical coherence tomography). He also discusses a new collaboration with machine learning start-up Bitfount, which will allow NHS trusts to answer research questions more easily and securely using the large sets of data they hold.

The Economist also spoke to Dr Ciara O'Byrne, a Clinical Research Fellow at Moorfields, who is part of a team that has developed A.I. that can identify gender from eye scans.

Moorfields patient Elaine Manna also features in the video. Elaine suffers from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and was already blind in one eye when she developed AMD in her other eye. Fortunately, her remaining sight was saved after successful treatment by Dr Keane. However, with nearly 10 million eye appointments a year in the NHS, services are often overwhelmed, and patients can face long waits to see a consultant. This can sometimes result in unnecessary sight loss.

Technology such as the A.I. developed by Moorfields and DeepMind could save people’s sight and reduce the burden on health services by triaging patients more quickly and cheaply. This would ensure that those with the most serious conditions are seen urgently.

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Dr Pearse Keane
Dr Pearse Keane