A worldwide shortage of health professionals
The Palo Alto-based, biology and health-focused AI company sees their technology as filling a much-needed gap in the present healthcare system. They point out that the World Health Organization has estimated that we are suffering from a worldwide shortage of seven millions healthcare professionals. Doctors and nurses are overworked, and relieving their burden with millions of additional healthcare professionals will inevitably require extensive, costly training over many years. According to doc.ai, however, AI can help relieve their burden and improve healthcare outcomes immediately.
In a recent article entitled “The Robo-Doctor will See You Now,” PC Magazine reviewed the doc.ai app after the company’s CTO provided a demo of the first stage of the patient’s interactive experience with the AI. The demo began with the AI, through the CTO’s mobile phone, asking the CTO to take a picture of himself with his phone (i.e. a “selfie”) in order for the AI to guess his gender, age, weight, height and BMI, all from his headshot. According to PC Magazine, other than the app’s guess of the CTO’s age, which was off by only a “couple years,” its analysis “was spot on.” In the next stage, the “robo-doctor” asks the patient to take a picture of their medicine cabinet and blood results. Later, the AI guides the patient through the process of importing subsets of their medical records (including “a full sequence genome” if the patient has one available) from various sources. As the patient’s personalized health data collection grows from all of their medical sources, the AI soon learns more about their health profile than any individual medical source could know. According to doc.ai, this puts their app in a unique position to provide highly informed medical insights.
The AI-powered medical conversation
Once the aggregation of medical data is complete, the highly personalized, blockchain-enabled AI platform is able to respond to patients’ questions about their health 24/7 through the mobile app. According to the doc.ai team, the AI-supported dialogue is not merely a user-friendly interface for retrieving data already present in one’s medical record. Rather, it is a generator of new information and insight. In the company’s press release, doc.ai provides a number of examples of complex, personalized questions that the company claims their AI can handle, such as “What should be my optimal Ferritin value based on my iron storage deficiency?”
The first “beta customer”
Doc.ai is not only designing their AI to interact with patients, but health professionals. The company is currently testing their first module, Robo-Hematology, with Deloitte Life Sciences and Healthcare, their “first beta customer.” Co-founder and CEO of doc.ai, Walter De Brouwer envisions health professionals and institutions having a direct dialogue with lab tests themselves “by leveraging advanced artificial intelligence, medical data forensics, and the decentralized blockchain.” In addition to Robo-Hematology, within the next twelve months doc.ai plans to release two additional blockchain-enabled, AI-powered natural language dialog modules for use by leading medical organizations addressing specific areas of healthcare and life sciences: Robo-Anatomic and Robo-Genomics.
Neuron: the doc.ai blockchain token
In order to reward usage and run their blockchain-enabled AI technology, doc.ai is following the Ethereum token standard to generate their tokens, which they are calling “Neurons” (NRNs). Doc.ai is creating a marketplace for SAFTs (Simple Agreements for Future Tokens) on September 7th, followed by a token sale on September 28th. Upon launch, SAFTs will convert to NRNs. To tie the size of their token pool to their subject matter, doc.ai plans to make the total number of NRNs 86 billion, roughly equal to the human brain’s total neuron count.
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Brennan is a blockchain technical adviser in the healthcare sector and blockchain entrepreneur who has worked on developing proprietary concepts for both artificial intelligence and enterprise blockchain. He is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Health Professions where he earned a M.S. in biomedical informatics.