Iowa company’s AI doctor beats trained physicians. But will regulation hurt?

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AI in healthcare can dramatically bring the cost of healthcare down, but only if Congress is cautious about regulating AI. Iowa tech founder and retina surgeon Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD of Digital Diagnostics out of Iowa City has developed an “AI Doctor” that can diagnose diabetic retinopathy faster, and more accurately than a trained physician. He explains the future of AI in healthcare, how Iowa innovation is beating Silicon Valley, and why regulations must be balanced.

What is LumineticsCore?

Digital Diagnostics technology, LumineticsCore™ (formerly IDx-DR), detects and diagnoses diabetic retinopathy faster and with more accuracy than a trained surgeon, and this approach is only the beginning. He says the back of the retina can tell physicians a lot about brain health, even being used to detect early signs of a potential stroke. This AI approach can go so much further to detect breast cancer, skin disease, and other early signs of disease. These uses are a reality and early detection is key in treatment.

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AI in healthcare

Abramoff mentioned the technology is so easy to use, it’s already being installed into grocery stores. Any physician can write a prescription and any patient can do their own evaluation. Will we see a simple device in your neighborhood pharmacy that can do a complete health screening faster, and cheaper than your family physician? Abramoff says yes.

As the physician shortage gets worse, this use of AI in healthcare couldn’t come at a better time. Abramoff is clear this technology won’t replace doctors, it will make them faster, more efficient, and give them more time to focus on patient care and outcomes—this is why they became doctors!

Abramoff has testified and consulted with Congress on the use of AI in medicine and he’s authored numerous papers on the impact AI will have on not just the entire health system, but for each individual. He says tech and AI health companies need to take a more delicate and ethical approach than the typical “move fast and break things” Silicon Valley approach. He says this approach is key in helping Congress take a balanced approach to regulation.

We’re at a critical juncture right now. AI can dramatically bring the cost of healthcare down, or Congress can levy regulations slowing innovation and blocking access. Abramoff says AI tech companies need to get involved and let good ethics lead the way.