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    How AI Can Help The Black Community Get Healthier

    It is no secret that African Americans suffer from a tremendous number of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer to obesity.

    With scarce access to health resources across the Black community and the onset of COVID-19, perhaps it is time to look to technology to help solve some of the issues within the community.

    There are four types of artificial intelligence: reactive machines, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-awareness. 

    It is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic “cognitive” functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as “learning” and “problem-solving”. (Wikipedia)

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen rapid growth across many industries in the last decade. By 2021, the market value of AI in the health care industry is predicted to reach $6.6 billion. 

    To give you some examples of AI, think of technologies like Alexa and Siri, and self-driving cars.

    These are just the tip of the iceberg. It is a revolutionary technology that could benefit many industries, especially healthcare.

    AI in Healthcare 

    AI applications in healthcare are centered on three main investment areas: digitization, engagement, and diagnostics. 

    I won’t go into the tech wizardry of it, but to put it simply, AI is driving innovations in data management, clinical operations, surgery, and drug development.

    Independent just reported today that scientists have discovered a ground-breaking bio-synthetic material that they claim can be used to merge artificial intelligence with the human brain.

    This has been a major challenge before due to traditional materials like gold, silicon, and steel causing scarring when implanted.

    Discoveries like these are what make the future bright for finding solutions to human problems.

    Already, there are some examples of artificial intelligence in healthcare that are revolutionizing the industry.

    Personal Health Assistants

    Personal health monitoring is a familiar example of artificial intelligence in health care.

    Mobile apps, wearables, and monitors that constantly collect data and check your vitals have been on the rise in recent years.

    They use the data they collect to make recommendations, and that data can be retrieved and used by medical practitioners as a basis for your care. 

    In our latest podcast episode, we introduce Simpa – a simulated personal health advocate that gives unlimited health insight and suggestions based on your nutrition, observations, and health records. 

    This new technology is anticipated to have many advantages to the Black community because it’s the power of holistic health within your reach.

    Can you imagine being able to correct your deficiencies immediately via the output data of Simpa? 

    You would usually have to wait for your next doctor’s visit, but no more. You can know when your cholesterol is low, and when you’re consuming too many foods high in saturated fat.

    And most of all eliminate the need for drugs as a corrective measure to your health complaints. All controlled through your nutrition. 

    It is your health data at your fingertips!

    Clinical Diagnosis

    AI algorithms can diagnose diseases faster and more accurately than doctors do, especially in detecting diseases from image-based test results.

    Cancer, which is sometimes hard to detect in the early stages is a good fit for AI technology with respect to effective treatment. The goal here is early detection and preemptive measures. 

    AI algorithms can scan and analyze biopsy images and MRI scans 1,000 times faster than doctors. The algorithms can diagnose with an 87% accuracy rate.

    This kind of accuracy is needed in battling difficult diagnoses that doctors would usually have to make from reading charts themselves.

    Since African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers, this technology is very beneficial to us. 

    Precision Medication

    AI is robust when it comes to data organization.

    In fact, it is known for being able to seamlessly store and organize large amounts of data to draw meaningful conclusions and predictions.

    Precision medicine refers to dispensing the correct treatment depending on the patient’s characteristics and behavior. 

    It depends on the interpretation of vast volumes of data that would usually end up on a hard drive or in storage. 

    By using AI to sort through each patient’s data, assisting doctors in formulating precision medication for individual patients. The most effective medications can then be diagnosed. 

    Tracking Outbreaks

    Thanks to HealthMap, a website run by Boston Children’s Hospital, the international alarm about the COVID-19 pandemic was sounded.

    In turn, they used artificial intelligence to scan social media, news reports, internet search queries, and other information streams for signs of disease outbreaks.

    On 30 December 2019, the data-mining program spotted a news report of a new type of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. 

    The one-line email bulletin noted that seven people were in critical condition and rated the urgency at three on a scale of five. (Science website)

    Other organizations have been quick to apply their AI and machine learning know-how in the fight to curb this pandemic.

    Applications in machine learning expertise were focused in several areas: scaling customer communications, understanding how COVID-19 spreads, and speeding up research and treatment, even agriculture.

    AI is being used to assess the current state of the pandemic – called now-casting. 

    The data gathered does not replace your need to get tested, or provide a vaccine, but instead lets medical officials know where testing, PPE equipment, and medical supplies are needed the most, or where the virus is most concentrated, so attention can be placed on those areas.

    Machine learning can also help accelerate the discovery of drugs to help treat COVID-19.

    The African American community was hit hardest during the pandemic. But thanks to AI the continuing effects of COVID-19 on this group could be reversed with the advances in the use of this technology.

    Being a relatively new technology in health care, AI still has a long way to go, but the progress thus far is impressive. 

    We are particularly excited about Simpa because it gives us autonomy with regards to our health.

    I’ve long wanted something that I could use to understand how food impacts my body and see the effects of that in real-time. 

    Looking forward to all the improvements in healthcare to come, especially for the Black community because we need it.

    AATS

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