Most smart software in use today specializes on one type of data, be that interpreting text or guessing at the content of photos. Software in development at IBM has to do all those at once. It’s in training to become a radiologist’s assistant. The software is code-named Avicenna, after an 11th century philosopher who wrote an influential medical encyclopedia. It can identify anatomical features and abnormalities in medical images such as CT scans, and also draws on text and other data in a patient’s medical record to suggest possible diagnoses and treatments.Avicenna is intended to be used by cardiologists and radiologists to speed up their work and reduce errors, and is currently specialized to cardiology and breast radiology. It is currently being tested and tuned up using anonymized medical images and records. But Tanveer Syeda-Mahmood, a researcher at IBM’s Almaden research lab near San Jose, California, and chief scientist on the project, says that her team and others in the company are already getting ready to start testing the software outside the lab on large volumes of real patient data. “We’re getting into preparations for commercialization,” she says. Avicenna “looks” at medical images using a suite of different image-processing algorithms… Read full this story
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