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article imageAI is helping China relieve its doctor shortage

By Ken Hanly     Mar 22, 2018 in Technology
Artificial Intelligence is already used in medical treatment to examine medical scans and spot diabetes in many places. In China, AI can do much more than simply help doctors. It can actually aid in alleviating China's doctor shortage.
Software developed by the Beijing startup PereDoc can expedite the lung scan screening process. The software will start being used next month. It can spot nodules and other early signs of lung cancer in the scans.
China's AI push
Back in July of last year, the State Council of the People's Republic of China announced a scheme to push AI that would spend $150 billion on the AI industry. The plan is to make China the global leader in the field by 2030.
This may be bad news for AI research in the U.S. which is now a world leader. The Trump administration is anti-science to some degree and has cut research spending.
Chinese companies are already showing themselves very adept at commercializing AI technologies. China has shown a growing willingness to invest in fundamental research and development.
China's doctor shortage
As part of its AI scheme, China is beefing up its health care facilities with more AI tools. It needs to as there are only 1.5 doctors for every thousand people. In the U.S. by comparison there are 2.5 for every thousand.
A recent report even claims that the demand in China for AI health services could be as much as $930 million by 2022.
Some of the new AI tools being developed are one that can design dentures and another that analyzes ultrasound data and is able to detect blood clots that are often caused in lymphoma treatment.
PereDoc partners with hospitals
With help from 180 hospitals that collaborate in its research, PereDoc is able to continue to develop and refine its software.
A Beijing hospital that treats about 10,000 outpatients each day will start sending its lung scans to be examined by PereDoc. With such an enormous number of patients, doctors at the hospital simply do not have the time to examine each and every scan that is done thoroughly. The software will ensure both that the doctors do not miss anything and also will lighten their load substantially.
PereDoc already has installed its software in 20 Chinese hospitals. However, there are probably many more Chinese hospitals that face a situation such as that of the one described in Beijing. The software is soon likely to spread to many hospitals throughout different parts of China.
More about Ai, AI in China, AI in China's health care
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