Two items of Serious Medicine interest. First, "Second Opinions":
Medical imaging helps doctors diagnose everything from breast cancer to brain tumors. Now comes A.I. The University of Chicago's Department of Radiology is testing a method, called Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD), where a computer corroborates or challenges a radiologist's initial diagnosis. The computer combs images for suspicious regions and lesions while estimating the probability of each spot's malignancy. "Image interpretation by humans can be limited by incomplete visual search patterns, the potential for fatigue and distractions and the presence of structure noise in the image," says Chicago's Dr. Maryellen L. Giger.
And this, "Virtual Nursing":
Timothy Bickmore, a computer science professor at Northeastern University, has created a virtual nurse named Louise who talks patients through the discharge process and can tell if they are correctly absorbing medical instructions. Louise is the work of Bickmore, MIT and the Boston Medical Center. Her skill in reading faces for clues is a huge breakthrough, says Dr. Brian Jack of the Boston Medical Center. Jack says that 20% of discharged patients show back up at the hospital within a month because they misunderstood the directions.