Kidney AI

This “AI Doctor” Can Predict Acute Kidney Conditions 2 Days Early

Will machines one day alert doctors of life-threatening conditions way ahead of time?

8. 1. 19 / Victor Tangermann
Victor Tangermann
Image by Victor Tangermann

Kidney Predictor

Researchers from Alphabet-owned company DeepMind say a new AI can ingest a patient’s medical history and predict, with 90 percent accuracy, whether they’re going to need dialysis for acute kidney injury 48 hours before it occurs.

“Currently we pick these things up too late and harm is caused to patients, and we think there’s a real opportunity for these AI systems to be able to predict and prevent rather than just what currently happens, which is clinicians almost firefighting and running around problems that have already developed,” DeepMind clinical lead Dominic King told Wired.

Training Wheels

The team fed health data from more than 700,000 Veterans Affairs hospital patients across the U.S. to their neural network.

Their results were promising, according to a paper about the research published Wednesday in the journal Nature: the system can even tell doctors what piece of medical data tipped it off that a kidney crisis was imminent.


Far From Perfect

But while the system is speedy, it’s way too trigger-happy: it reported two false positives for every correctly identified kidney injury.

The researchers also have yet to see how well it works with patients outside of the VA hospital system.

READ MORE: DeepMind AI predicts acute loss of kidney function two days in advance, study shows [STAT]

More on DeepMind: There’s a Power Struggle Inside Google to Control Superhuman AI


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