Health Inequalities As Evidenced By COVID-19

Since the week ending March 20th, the UK has registered 61, 920 excess deaths. With the second highest death rate worldwide at the time of writing, the effects of the UK COVID-19 outbreak have been profound. But far from a ‘great leveller’, this quake has left an uneven landscape in its wake.

“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…

Women in Medicine: Celebrating the Women of RUMS

‘Women in Medicine’ was a photographic exhibition of historical and contemporary female icons in medicine, held late last year at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Medical institutions across the UK nominated a current female representative of their speciality, who in turn paid tribute to historical women who have inspired them.  The Royal College of Physicians recently ran an exhibition celebrating internationally acclaimed women in medicine, many of whom graduated from UCL Medical School or one of its many iterations. Among the long list of honoured icons were Diana Beck, believed to be the first female neurosurgeon in the…