Canada’s AI boom: reap rewards with better Healthcare

by: | April 24, 2017

We are on the edge of a new reality, powered and enabled by artificial intelligenceIn the next decade, we could reap the longterm rewards of healthcare. what if all aspects of our society transformed? Those to change first will be data-rich industries like healthcare, financial services and energy.

Canada’s new AI lab, The Vector Institute – of which I sit on the board of directors ­­– has a focus in Deep Learning, pioneered by Geoff Hinton, with applications in a wide variety of fields including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and material science. The more data that’s available the better. And that means breakthroughs in healthcare are coming—and it goes far beyond image classification.

How we approach and provide healthcare services will be radically different. It will span across the system from payors to providers to consumer engagement. In insurance, new risk models, claims adjudication, fraud prevention, and care navigation are just a few areas that will be impacted. Among health providers, deep learning algorithms will impact diagnostics, treatment with precision medicine, recovery and proactive health management. 

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Imagine, better healthcare. A new reality will emerge, where doctors and surgeons can dedicate more time to patient support and personalized treatments. Some functions will be augmented/assisted while others will be outright eliminated by algorithms.  

I can imagine a life-changing cancer search engine being a critical tool for doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital to assess and determine the best course of treatment—all powered by AI and machine learning.

I can imagine software that analyses your health preferences and provides guidance and advice on how to be proactive in maintaining your optimal level of health. Your own superhero handbook, that every day, helps you achieve your optimal health.  

This resonates close to home. At League, our mission is to empower people to be healthier every day. As we grow and build our datasets, machine learning will start to play a more important role including the ‘easy’ stuff – adjudication/fraud detection, and the ‘not so easy’ stuff – making better recommendations to people about their health.

Last week, I was at a dinner with leaders from the financial services sector. The discussion came to AI, and I heard a familiar pattern to the conversation, “we’ll still need humans in the future… what we do requires judgement…”

Don’t count on it. 


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