Deep Medicine
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 17 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Eric Topol

Deep Medicine

The applications of artificial intelligence in medicine

Deep Medicine is an interesting historical and critical analysis of the ways in which approaches in medicine have changed with the development of new technology. On the one hand, progress made in the field of artificial intelligence has helped us to achieve unexpected results. On the other hand, our extreme trust in machines has led us to behave irresponsibly, evidence of which is particularly prominent in the medical field. Artificial intelligence can help us to read medical scans and shorten the amount of time required to reach a diagnosis, but medicine must always remain centred around the human connection, in the form of the doctor, who needs to remember the importance of their role moving forward, and strive to continually improve the skills required for human connection. If doctors were to start collaborating with technology, using it as a tool for technical support, it would allow them to concentrate more on the human perspective of practicing medicine. 

Deep Medicine
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 17 min.

The era of artificial intelligence represents a new industrial era

Artificial intelligence has undergone enormous development in recent years, not only in the medical field but in all areas of life. Just think of the technology used in mobile phones, digital receptionists, and internet algorithms. If, on the one hand, this progress has brought significant improvements to our daily lives, by speeding up so many processes, on the other hand, it has detached us from our responsibilities. The impact that AI has had on our lives is so strong, and has happened so quickly, that it is being heralded as the fourth industrial era. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and Big Data have already shaped how things will continue to develop, for better or worse. These tools can be beneficial, if properly understood and guided by humans, but they have the potential to cause serious harm, if left to their own devices.

Despite the risks, the use of artificial intelligence should be encouraged, based on the real benefits it could bring to society. 

Artificial intelligence is capable of completing many tasks, such as guiding autonomous vehicles, composing music and songs, writing texts and articles, and lip reading, just to name a few. 

We are surrounded by machines of all kinds, and given the obvious benefits, it is only right that we continue to study the potential of so-called Deep Learning, so as to discover more and more solutions to the problems that we face. 

For example, there have been some very interesting studies conducted on the use of mobile phones. Algorithms can be used to predict a person's behaviour by analysing the way that they use their phone. From looking at the pages they scroll through, to the recurrent use of certain words, a person’s predisposition to depression could be detected, for example. Even the analysis of the photos that they have posted or commented on with their Instagram account could reveal depressive tendencies.

Artificial intelligence should therefore be encouraged. However, it must be controlled.


The key ideas of "Deep Medicine"

The era of artificial intelligence represents a new industrial era
The use of artificial intelligence in the medical field can be of huge benefit
Artificial intelligence can be dangerous if humans don’t intervene
The most difficult challenge faced by doctors is making the right diagnosis
The doctor-patient relationship must be revisited if we want to avoid a dehumanised future
Take-home message
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