Artificial Intelligence in medical diagnosis: what does it mean

October 24, 2017

As the global population grows so does the risk of illness. Diseases such as cancer, the second leading cause of death globally with 8.8 million deaths attributed to it in 2015, are predicted to increase by up to 70% in the next two decades.

Crucial to positive outcomes from cancer and other serious illness are screening and early diagnosis. Depending on economic and geographic location, this isn’t always possible using traditional healthcare models. However Artificial Intelligence in medical diagnosis allows healthcare to be provided remotely, accurately and, in time, at lower cost.

Artificial Intelligence software can analyse vast amounts of data and self-learn to recognise patterns, allowing it to predict future events. A study by Nottingham University tested a patient’s risk of having heart disease or a stroke in future. It compared existing tests with Artificial Intelligence software which was found to be significantly more accurate. Traditional models of risk prediction rely on a standard list of risk factors whereas the new software can take individual factors like medication and other medical conditions into account. This allows for a truly personalised risk analysis which just isn’t possible using traditional methods.

Artificial Intelligence is offering greater access to medical advice. In large parts of the world, medical professionals are thin on the ground. Apps like Babylon allow users access GPs and specialist consultants by video and phone. All that is needed is a connected device. With smartphone penetration and internet access increasing in the developing world, this could allow more and more people to receive the medical advice they need.

If you find yourself working as an expat in a location where medical professionals are scarce, using technology to access medical advice might be a necessity. If you have International Health Insurance with Allianz Worldwide Care, you can access an AI powered ‘Symptom Checker’ through our Allianz MyHealth app, no matter where in the world you are working.

One of the challenges faced by medical professionals across the globe is diagnosing illness at scale. Nowhere is this more of an issue than a country like China, home to one sixth of the world’s population. It also has some of the highest lung cancer rates in the world. In 2015, more than 700,000 cases were diagnosed. Chinese radiologists in one hospital are now partnering with technology companies GE Healthcare, Cisco and Nvidia to use AI to read CT scans and X-rays to identify suspicious lesions and nodules, resulting in earlier detection and treatment for thousands of people.

Artificial Intelligence in medical diagnosis is transformative and seems to be here to stay. If you have International Health Insurance with Allianz Worldwide care, download the Allianz MyHealth app to use our Artificially Intelligent ’Symptom Checker’.

Our Allianz MyHealth app will also allow you to monitor your own health, view policy documentation and claim status anytime, anywhere. Best of all, you can make a claim; paper free.