I have a deep interest in artificial intelligence and how it will change the world. I regularly present sessions on what I see coming, technology-wise. Many examples in those sessions are based on breakthroughs related to medicine. So I was pleased to get to listen to Eric Topol's book Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.
Eric spends time discussing how much of existing medicine is functional yet quite broken. Very few doctors now really connect with and relate to their patients. Worse, misdiagnoses are becoming far too frequent, arguably because of this disconnection.
In this book, Eric takes a realistic look at where we're at with AI in medicine, and suggests how AI based systems will revolutionize the practice of medicine. The issue is with how this will be implemented. Doctors who see their own roles as purely functional (e.g. a radiologist who reads scans and writes summaries all day long, without interacting with patients at all), will be basically replaced. Doctors who use the AI based systems to enhance their work and free them from procedural tasks so that they can focus on patient interactions will see great outcomes.
Eric hopes that AI based systems will bring real patient care back into the healthcare business, while reducing the number of mistakes that are made.
The Verdict ?
This is a great book. 9 out of 10. I found it compelling and compulsive listening. It was interesting to hear an assessment of medical AI from someone directly involved both in medicine, and in researching where we are with medical AI.