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Medicine Cellphones Science

X Prize Foundation Wants AI Physician On Every Smartphone 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the universal-health-care dept.
kkleiner writes "One of the exciting ideas being tossed around recently at the X Prize Foundation is the creation of an Artificial Intelligence physician that you could access from your smartphone. Want to know if that rash on your leg is poison ivy or smallpox? Take a photo of it with your phone and ask the AI. The possibilities are enormous, especially for the billion plus people around the world who live more than a few hours' walk or drive from the nearest doctor." This is one of four X Prizes in planning for the future. The other three are for an AI automobile driver, organ generation through stem cell use, and a deep sea submersible capable of exploring the sea floor.
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X Prize Foundation Wants AI Physician On Every Smartphone

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  • Bad idea (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kazymyr (190114) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:01AM (#32590684) Journal

    A smartphone cannot perform a physical exam. Enough said.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:28AM (#32590932) Journal

    I hope they are better than the stories I've come out of NICE (aka nasty). Over in the State of France they have a screening service, where doctors answer emergency calls directly and can provide medical care immediately, or else send an ambulance if the sick person needs hospital treatment. It has saved the State Government a lot of money by eliminating un-necessary ambulance/hospital visits.

    This seems a good idea for the US Member States to copy, hiring actual doctors to handle 911 calls, rather than some minimum wage person. If I was a politician I would shove it through the Legislature, but of course I'm a nobody say I have no say whatsoever. Oh well.

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mathimus1863 (1120437) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:26PM (#32592200)
    When I visited Thailand, I was amazed to see that so much of the country is poor and without healthcare, yet they ALL have cellphones. In fact, Thailand has the 5th highest cellphone ownership rate in the world (1.25 cellphones per person, on average). It's crazy to go to a hill tribe village 2 hours from anywhere else, see that they probably don't even have running water, yet they're all listening to music or chatting on their cellphone. I don't even know how they charge them! I didn't think they had running electricity...
  • Re:Yeah... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:43PM (#32592442)

    tl;dr "market penetration of cellphones in Africa is sitting at 37%, ... the continent has largely bypassed fixed-line telecommunications solutions in favour of mobile technology"

    Now, I'm sure that a lot of that 37% resides in urban areas, but as service coverage continues to expand, I can see this being a valuable tool.

  • by jeffporcaro (1010187) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:17PM (#32592824)
    OMG, I *wish* this were true of the AMA. As a physician and still active member, I can tell you that this couldn't be further from the truth. The AMA's primary business is publishing and maintaining insurance coding and billing standards, and selling their databases to the highest bidder. They employ lobbyists primarily to maintain that monopoly - they are NOT particularly interested in maintaining insurance or government payments to physicians (aka "livelihood"), although they make noises on that topic occasionally. They've basically been relegated to the sidelines on most national issues involving medicine. They represent less than 30% of active US physicians. I hear this same trope frequently, however, despite the fact that it's demonstrably false.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.