Artificial Intelligence assists in Shanghai cancer treatments

AI has participated in local cancer treatments, scoring a higher level of accuracy than human doctors. But they have one serious drawback: a lack of emotion.
Ti Gong

Doctors at Renji Hospital discuss complicated breast cancer cases through the assistance of Dr. Watson, an AI medical cognitive computer system.

Artificial Intelligence has played a part in local medical practice, with Shanghai’s Renji Hospital today announcing that AI is used to assist with genomics and disease diagnoses, and in the treatment of complicated breast cancer cases.

Dr. Watson, an IBM developed medical cognitive computer system, is now mainly used for assisting in cancer treatment. It has been involved in the treatment of eight types of cancer such as lung cancer, breast cancer and gastric cancer, in 14 countries and regions. So far, it has reached a level of 90 percent accuracy in cancer diagnosis, which is higher than that of human doctors.

The breast disease department of Renji Hospital is the first department in the nation to introduce Dr. Watson into its multi-disciplinary team for complicated breast cancer case discussion.

Whenever inputting information about a patient’s condition, the system can recommend several treatment plans being screened from over 300 medical journals, over 250 medical books and 15 million pages of articles. It also can detect mutated genes through patients' genetic testing reports and recommend plans in line with personal conditions.

“The system is a very effective assistance to doctors and also can help us evaluate effects and risks of different treatment plans,” said Dr Lu Jinsong, director of Renji’s breast disease department. “Trained AI systems have a higher efficiency than human beings, but they can’t be used in untrained fields like special cancer cases and cases with no regularities," the doctor added.

"Computers also have no emotions and can’t understand patients' emotional requests to support diagnosis and treatment.”


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