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AI wants to revolutionize healthcare—it may be doing more harm than good


In 2018, British trauma and orthopedic surgeon Alex Young founded his company Virti. Virti uses artificial intelligence to build “virtual patients” and simulations that train healthcare professionals, pledging to improve their “soft skills” and make them better at communicating with their patients. Dr. Young is evangelical about the power of machine learning, immersive experiences, and virtual and augmented reality to transform the world of healthcare.

And he is not the only person attempting to use AI to make healthcare better. As assistant professor at Indiana University Dr. Hannah Zeavin told the Daily Dot, “AI in healthcare promises a great deal and has wended itself into almost every aspect of the industry, from virtual humans who ‘offer therapy’ to algorithms that determine who gets an ER bed, a kidney, a surgery.”

Various companies have invested in ways for infallible machines to replace people who make mistakes. Google has been using big data to build models to warn clinicians and predict high-risk conditions, such as sepsis and heart failure. Ivion offers a “clinical success machine” that identifies the patients most at risk as well as those most likely to respond to treatment protocols. In 2020, Microsoft announced AI for Health, devoting $40 million […]

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