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Tech Uses AI to Catch, Diagnose Health Problems

By NAM News Room

Medical researchers are using facial-recognition features in artificial intelligence to diagnose diseases and health issues before other means are able to do so, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: A team at Johns Hopkins Hospital “is training a computer algorithm to recognize changes in … patients’ features, such as the paralysis of certain facial muscles or unusual eye movements, that might indicate damage to the brain from a stroke as opposed to seizures, severe migraines or anxiety disorders.”

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers are studying the ability of facial recognition to diagnose the progressive neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
  • And a Florida startup has created a tool to help pediatricians diagnose rare genetic disorders through the analysis of children’s facial features.

Why it’s important: “Early research efforts point to a future in which facial scans, perhaps embedded in a smartphone camera or even a bathroom mirror, might monitor our general health while picking up signs of long-term neurological ailments such as dementia. Some researchers believe algorithms might even be used to track how well a treatment or drug is working by detecting changes in a person’s face.”

The future: Doctors hope to soon be able to use AI to pinpoint early signs of neurological problems before they occur and to diagnose them afterward.

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