“the AI will see you now” Is privacy the price of AI in healthcare?

Ever since the 1970s there has been a fascination with artificial intelligence, or AI. In the last decade or so, “smart” technology has developed and become a part of our everyday lives; many of us are the proud owners of pocket-size devices which can compute, play and contact at the touch of a button. But while the potential applications of AI in medicine are vast, exciting, and could potentially transform healthcare, the technology has not yet managed to become a widespread phenomenon. This could be set to change as technology is refined and becomes more accurate – but there are…

Recurrent Neural Networks: a suitable model for the brain?

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) form the architecture behind machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies are undergoing an explosion in use – from computer vision systems for self-driving cars and Snapchat filters, to voice recognition and big data processing for research. These algorithms are powerful because they effectively program themselves; they learn associations between input and output from large training datasets, and then apply this ‘knowledge’ to new situations. Computer vision, for example, is a complex problem that is incredibly difficult to write software for. It is hard enough for a computer to understand the outline of a cat against…

MedEthEx: Artificial Intelligence and Medical Ethics

MedEthEx is a prototype system developed by Michael Anderson, Susan Anderson and Chris Armen, to address the issue of ethics in medicine. The authors claim that the system can serve a vital educational role – both in and out of the clinic – and provide medical practitioners with the tools necessary to survive in the clinical setting, where such ethical dilemmas are bound to arise. Indeed, the system purports to guide medical practitioners through the hazy moral grey areas of medical ethics. Anderson, Anderson and Armen suppose that medical dilemmas arise due to a conflict of deep-rooted intuitions, or prima…

Dr. Hannah Allen: babylon Health

Dr Hannah Allen is the Associate Medical Director of Babylon Health, a service that provides remote consultations with health care professionals via text and video messaging on their mobile app. She currently works as a GP, and is passionate about improving the healthcare industry through innovation in new technologies, in particular, female health via “Femtech” to improve antenatal and postnatal mental health. She graduated in 2008 from the University of Warwick after initially completing a degree in BioMedical Sciences from Newcastle University. Here she talks about life as an “online doctor”, and why she is such a vocal advocate for…

Smartphones and Opthalmology

Dr Chrishan Gunasekera graduated from UCL Medical School in 2011. He is now an ophthalmologist involved in developing ways to use smartphones in eye examination and microsurgical training as well as an Honorary Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCL. Here he shares with us his journey since graduating from UCLMS, and evaluates the medical technology he is currently working on. RR: Can you talk us through your career progression and your current role? CG: After finishing medical school, I completed my foundation training in London. I took a year out following FY2 and was a Clinical Teaching Fellow for the…

Talking mindfulness

An interview with James Groves, final year medical student at UCL and co-founder of Mindful medics. Here he delves into what mindfulness is and the many benefits of making it a part of your life! When was it that you originally became interested in mindfulness? We all know the stressful environment that medical school can foster… Well, it was experiencing this stress in my first year which essentially led me to start practicing mindfulness. I’m someone who has always been quite introspective and analytical. In particular, I’ve always found myself looking for the “best strategy” when doing anything: the best…

Cheating the system- Tackling the problem at UCL

  In March 2017, more than 270 final-year medical students from the University of Glasgow were forced to retake their OSCE finals after collusion was discovered. Over 40 students were caught using social media including Facebook and Whatsapp to share classified information about their OSCE stations with friends who had not taken the exam. While the whole cohort faced the consequences of having to retake the exam, two students with direct involvement in the sharing of information also faced fitness to practice procedures. While this case was particularly high profile, cheating has surprisingly been discovered to be common practice in…

Is your GP better than Dr Bot?

  Myles Foley summarises Brian Cox’s “You and AI” panel discussion What is the role of AI in society – or, rather, what will become the role of AI in society? That was the overarching theme of the ever quick-witted Brian Cox at his “You and AI” event, an evening of debate and discussion with panellists Dr Vivienne Ming, Professor Peter Donelley and Dr Suchi Saria. First up for consideration was the definition of AI, on which the panel converged with relative ease; AI is an autonomous system which is capable of solving problems with no right answer. This can…