“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…

Millennials and the Changing Face of Plastic Surgery

Millennials and the Changing Face of Plastic Surgery David Ward, Emeritus Consultant Plastic Surgeon and current president of BAPRAS, informs us about the changing trends in plastic surgery, the difficulties faced by the profession and how standards can be maintained.      Recent figures from the USA and UK illustrate that, not only is the popularity of cosmetic surgery at an unprecedented high, but there has been a shift in the procedures requested by patients, and in the patients themselves. Many more men are now seeking cosmetic surgery, with face and neck lifts, male liposuction and gynaecomastia reduction being the most common…

Improving student engagement based on a sample of n = 1 = me

Early experiences of primary care at medical school solely acted to solidify Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein’s ambition to become a plastic surgeon. However, now a Portfolio RAF general practitioner enjoying her career more than ever, Jodie explains the inspirational chance encounter that changed her path, and encourages others to open their eyes to all possible career options; namely one in general practice. Having just finished swiping through last night’s magical photos of the aurora borealis, I sit in a medical centre in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, with mile upon mile of perfectly white snow outside of my clinic window, preparing all…

Licensed to Kill: Priming the Immune System to Kill Cancer

The following is a two-part collaborative piece by Dr Alexander Gray, Chief Medical Officer for IDEA Pharma and UCL alumnus, and Gordon Weng-Kit Cheung, a researcher at the UCL Cancer Institute. The article highlights the promise and potential of immunotherapy in the fight against cancer, featuring the early pre-clinical development happening right here at UCL. In the article that follows, Gordon WengKit Cheung outlines the evolution of one of the most exciting developments in cancer treatment: immunotherapy, specifically CAR T-cell therapy. Back in 1989, as a fresh-faced medical student starting at UCL, the idea that you could transplant targeted immune…