When Adowa Nyarko’s aged father grew a small blister on his upper arm about a year ago, she didn’t think too much about it. After all, seeing a doctor is a four hour journey to the nearest city. Later, as the blister grew slightly bigger, she used a skin analysis app which she had downloaded to her android phone to scan the blister. The app suggested to her that the blister could be dangerous. Adowa promptly brought her father to the nearest hospital and the doctors diagnosed it to be a cancerous ulcer.
The app is Medgic (https://www.medgic.co) – a non-profit technology created by doctors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) scientists from Singapore. Medgic is an app on your mobile phone which allows you to scan, analyze and detect skin conditions. It is free to use.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that half of the world lacks access to essential health services. In addition, 100 million households are being pushed into poverty just to pay for healthcare expenses. While the rise of AI and its application to solve medical challenges are still in the early experimental phase, startups like Medgic are proposing a solution to the expensive, overburdened and understaffed healthcare systems plaguing most countries. Even bigger institutions like Stanford University (https://aimi.stanford.edu/) are moving in the same direction with their research into applying AI on radiological investigations.
The verdict is indeed still out there whether AI Healthcare can materialize their altruistic goals and positively impact earth’s ever growing population, but for many users just like Adowa, they are certainly hopeful.