For thousands of years
Doctors have been looking for an edge to protect their patients from disease. Doctors have always looked for clues to help them identify who is or isn’t sick. Their job may have gotten a little easier.
With the application of disease identifying Artificial Intelligence, (AI), units, the doctors of the world have help in protecting their patients. These possibly new friends of the all doctors are being tested right now. They try to pick up on different body clues in hopes of determining who is or isn’t sick.
The application of these new friends
Besides hospitals and doctors’ offices, clinics, etc., these disease sniffing AI units could be employed at airports, train and bus stations. In those locations, the units would be deployed in a manner to scan the facial expressions of the people walking through the terminals.
Once a sick person was identified, the authorities could contact the person for further investigation. These disease aware AI units could also be employed at arenas or other locations where a large group of people gathers.
The main motivation behind this logistical move would be to stop a contagious disease from becoming an epidemic.
The problems of employing these new medical friends
Even though this technological idea is only in its beginning stages, problems are already being identified. One such problem would be accuracy. Another would be privacy or civil rights violations.
The question that comes to mind is how far would the government go in the use of these AI units? Also, would their employment violate the protection from illegal searches guaranteed by the constitution? The greater good is not included in the constitution as a reason to violate this protection.
The other problem would be in programming these AI units to be able to determine if the facial expression is done naturally or influenced by a particular disease.
When practical applications are used
The benefits of using health-focused AI units are fully exposed if they are applied in more practical ways. For example, if the AI unit could read x-rays, MRI & CT scans, they may be able to pick up on a potential health problem that tired human eyes missed.
Once a problem has been identified by the AI unit, a skilled human technician can double check the results. The practical applications are by far more important than the possible public containment policy governments would have in mind.
Some final words
Getting good diagnostic help to all doctors is a big leap forward in medical practice and disease prevention. But the problems that come may be too overwhelming to solve. At last look, technological programmers do not have medical training. They would need the help of the properly trained medical personnel to help them.
They would also have to include in the programming, the facial expressions that come with dental problems. Medical diseases are not the only source for unnatural facial expressions.
Then what about cultural expressions and skin color? These issues would need to be addressed as well in future tests.