Thinking algorithm ready to take on conventional medicine

Deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, could be in the medical mainstream in months. San Francisco software startup Enlitic is preparing to send software engineers to about 80 medical imaging centers in Australia and Asia.  These “forward deployed engineers,” as company founder Jeremy Howard calls them, will install a deep-learning algorithm on IT systems, called Picture Archiving and Communications (PAC) systems. Once on board, the algorithm will begin learning how to interpret medical images, scouring tens of thousands of archived medical images, learning how to identify the signs of disease in every imaging modality in the center: MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-ray and nuclear medicine. It will do so by studying patterns in the images then drawing conclusions on the basis of these patterns. Deep learning actually works best when…

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