AI and Health

A humanoid robot in a lab coat and wearing a stethoscope while looking at lab results

Illustration generated using DALL·E 2.

Who wants to live forever?

We don’t all necessarily want to live forever, but it is not unreasonable to want to live a healthy and productive life for as long as possible. Now we can probably all agree that human doctors are fallible and cannot possibly know everything there is to know about the human body. After all, each human body is different not just biologically, but also genetically, making diagnosis and treatment especially complicated.

So many variables

And then there are the medicines, how can one person possibly understand how different medicines will interact with each other when someone might be taking up to 10 different pills a day, or even more. They might have an understanding of how a chemical cocktail of pills effect a 70 year old male of African heritage but that very same cocktail might act very differently in a 60 year old female of mixed asian heritage. So no, it would be blatantly unfair to expect one doctor to understand everything; and yet our lives are in their hands.

Smart medicine

Step up AI. Imagine a network of computers that know everything there is to know about human genetics, diseases, medicines and their effects, irrespective of who takes what in which combination. And all this network requires is unlimited access to your lifelong personal medical information which it can access through the smart device you wear on your wrist. You might think this is science fiction but it reality all the pieces are in place to make this a reality.

Sign on the dotted line

Of course the stumbling block to this brave new world is of course humans themselves. Unlimited and unfettered access you all my medical information? Who will have access? Can I trust them? What might they do with the information? Could it be used against me? These are all typical questions people ask when asked to give up what they consider to be too much information. And this, ladies and gentlemen is the point we have reached. AI enabled technologies are already available to help us live longer, healthier, and more productive lives, free of the ailments and diseases that killed off our forefathers. The contract is ready to be signed, there is a deal to be done, who is ready to be the first to step up?

Written by Ian Bowie