With the proliferation in technology and scientific breakthroughs, it is certain that our future will be immensely different from the present.
These advancements can actually help us cure numerous problems that the world is facing right now; right from cures for the most dreaded diseases to making the diagnosis and treatment much simpler, accessible and of course, cheaper! Cancer continues to be one of the most despised diseases today because of its ability to derail the patient’s life and hamper his social, emotional and economic well being.
Fighting cancer is considered extremely difficult and the major reasons for that are difficulties in early detection and expensive healthcare, which AI affirms to solve.
Professor Toby Walsh, an expert believes that cancer is an umbrella term for thousands of different types of conditions, yet the treatment offered today is often generic and does not consider the need for differing therapies for different people.
Cancer cases are expected to rise up to 21.7 million by 2030! Now the question is will the traditional methods of chemo and radiotherapy be sufficed?
Well, the researchers have negated the possibilities. A shift has been made in the last 4-5 years to engineered immune cell therapy, the advancement of which has been rapid. Many institutions are working on the therapy to perfect it and GE, Government of Canada and some non-profit institutions are trying to make the therapy more scalable and affordable. GE has even developed an app for making X-ray imaging in hospitals more efficient.
Clearly, machines are providing us with better ways to deal with our problems.
Microsoft’s Healthcare Next is being expanded to cancer research with the aim to accelerate healthcare innovation by bringing together AI, health research and expertise in the industry to cure this deadly disease and providing healthier lives to people at large.
What’s interesting in their approach is the fact that they are regarding cancer research as a tech company which means they are looking at cancer cells as something that can be reprogrammed and deleted rather than destroying or killing them off, thereby regarding us as being similar to computers and considering cancer as glitches in a computer system.
Microsoft’s researchers are developing a new computer system that would live inside the human cells and would restart the system if the cancer cells were detected. This would clean out the affected cells. They are also developing other methods for better treatment and for better organization of data. IBM’s Watson uses AI and machine learning to combat cancer and it recommends same treatments as doctors.
Whether these methods will actually be effective or not is still a question that would be answered with time. Innovating new techniques to combat cancer is a very ambitious task to take on but technological breakthroughs are enabling us to move closer to our ambition of a much healthier society.
For achieving our goal, it is essential that we empower everyone around us so that we achieve more.