Artificial intelligence (AI) has many applications in healthcare, where it can be used to get an understanding of predictive models of health, energy and agriculture. Dr Renu Swarup, secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science and Technology, told The Indian Express that the first AI pilot project for predicting modelling and diagnosis of cancer will be rolled out soon.
AI aims to mimic human cognitive functions and recent AI techniques have shown how physicians can make better clinical decisions with it. Swarup is also the chairperson of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which is promoting innovation and research in the biotech enterprise with emphasis on start-ups and SMEs and recently celebrated its 7th foundation Day.
She said AI is bringing a paradigm shift in healthcare, agriculture and energy.
Swarup said a proposal has been floated on developing AI models for predictive tools for cancer. “We have a lot of cancer-related data and are partners in the national and international consortium of the cancer genomics programme. The cancer cohort at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in Kalyani, in West Bengal’s Nadia district, is also working on clinical data with cancer hospitals. So, the aim is to bring all these groups together and see how we can bring in the AI model as a predictive tool for cancer,” said Swarup.
Experts say AI can provide physicians up to date medical information from journals, textbooks and clinical practices for enhanced patient care.
Apart from helping in reducing diagnostic errors, AI can extract useful information from a large patient population to assist physicians in making real-time inferences for health risk alerts and health outcome predictions.
Meanwhile, at BIRAC, focus was put on the importance of transnational research that can take on big health challenges at the foundation day celebrations on March 19. BIRAC was set up to connect start-ups and entrepreneurs with industry and academia, she said. “Today, all our start-ups are working 41 bio-incubator centres and while there is adequate technology, we need to help them converge,” she said.