An algorithm built by a San Francisco startup soon will begin using images archived at operating at imaging centers to teach itself to spot the signs of disease. If it succeeds, medicine will never be the same.
Deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, could be in the medical mainstream in months.
San Francisco software startup Enlitic is preparing to send software engineers to about 80 medical imaging centers in Australia and Asia. These “forward deployed engineers,” as company founder Jeremy Howard calls them, will install a deep-learning algorithm on IT systems, called Picture Archiving and Communications (PAC) systems. Once on board, the algorithm will begin learning how to interpret medical images, scouring tens of thousands of archived medical images, learning how to identify the signs of disease in every imaging modality in the center: MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-ray and nuclear medicine.