Is this the future of health? | The Economist

Is this the future of health? | The Economist

The quest for artificial intelligence began more than 80 years ago. I can perform 36 distinct acts. The idea was that computer technology would one day be powerful enough to carry out tasks better and
more efficiently than humans. We’ve got to actually say hello to it. Today AI has come of age. It’s already having an impact
on many parts of human life, from self-driving cars
to finding soulmates. But perhaps its greatest
impact will be on medicine and the way we monitor human health. Dr. Eric Topol is one of
the most influential doctors in digital medicine. The pioneering American cardiologist has helped develop drugs that
have saved countless lives. He is now at the forefront of the AI revolution in healthcare. These are his prescriptions
for transforming the future of human health. The overarching goal is to
bring back the humanity. If we do this right, we can rescue the problems of healthcare. The doctor-patient relationship is a founding principle of
healthcare and medicine. The first step is to eliminate keyboards and computer screens
in clinical encounters. Some doctors in the West can spend up to twice as many
hours on medical paperwork than with their patients. In the years ahead, we
should be able to eliminate the data clerk functions of clinicians. These are mutually hated
as much by patients as by doctors and clinicians. AI tools such as speech
recognition technology that are now commonplace in homes could be used in clinical settings for capturing data and notes, allowing doctors to concentrate on people. We have a problem with
accuracy and efficiency. Trained on a huge
resource of medical data, the power of AI learning
can read some images more accurately than humans. Whether it’s a pattern
like a scan or a slide, or a prediction, AI can
really rev up the accuracy. And that is important
for a better diagnosis, better treatments, better
outcomes, lower cost. Powerful machines can interpret scans 150 times faster than radiologists, and can work 24 hours a day. AI can even suggest a diagnosis. Many conditions could be AI-diagnosed. And so the time that a
doctor comes into play is very specific to important diagnoses. Data is critical for improving our understanding of disease and illness. The more we understand,
the better the chances of preventing, diagnosing, and curing. But currently, only
about 5% of medical data is used effectively. We had a problem of
generating so much data, terabytes of data for each person, but we didn’t have a way to analyze it. We didn’t have a way to extract the juice, the distillate of this. Now we do, and that’s what
artificial intelligence is really about. Harnessed to wireless devices, AI could oversee every facet
of people’s health data, from family history to
food intake to exercise. People will have the opportunity to have this real,
integrated view of themselves to help prevent illness,
to help guide them for better management of conditions. Over time, we’ll see this virtual coach for promoting health. Constant AI monitoring could transform the most prolific diseases that demand the most
care, such as diabetes. This would empower people to take charge of their own health. Another way that AI will kick in over time is to get rid of hospital rooms. We can monitor patients in
the comfort of their own home, because they can have the sensors that would provide the
same type of monitoring as if someone was in
the intensive care unit. Caring for people outside
of medical settings would not only prevent
hospital-acquired disease, it could also save money. All these things favor this shift of reliance on a patient’s bedroom, rather than the hospital room. We’re talking about a whole lot of people that don’t need to be employed
in the hospital setting; that is a great way to reduce
the burden in the future. In the United States a
hospital costs $5,000 a night, so you could get a lot of data plans that would go for years for that cost. If the clinical community
stands up for patients and say all the power, efficiency, productivity, workflow from AI is going to be used to
give the gift of time to doctors and nurses and patients, that’s where we flip this thing and achieve a rescue
mission for healthcare.



  • theozeal

    Robot smoking pot

  • Moonflower D.

    2nd comment

  • Vaibhav Gupta

    Doctor carol from health care triage seems to think that this is just hot air and will amount to very little.

  • Fx Human

  • Tyler Rein

    Constant monitoring? No thanks. Nope. Nahhh.

  • Mark W

    Just as Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation has been diminishing from our younger generation due to Apps and autocorrect, will the future Medical Doctors lose proficiency in their fields of Medicine as AI makes it easier not to pay attention?

    There will undoubtedly be many benefits to AI, but at what cost to the future of Humanity at large?

  • Zachary Laid Finding Freedom

    I would never trust a robot doctor.


    In the future people will scare even thinking about human surgeon.

  • Jazz E

    I think I saw the use of AI diagnosing patients already in place somewhere.

  • Luke Sheldon

    this would make the nhs prosper

  • David Rosner

    Machine learning is better able to identify patterns in data than humans. Researchers are already using machine learning to predict the formation of cancer in patients and prescribe preventative therapy to control its spread.

    The spread of AI and automation to more and more facets of life will only increase accuracy and efficiency.

  • Chetan Patel

    Thank you "The Economist" for making such videos and bringing all of us one step closer to what is soon going to be the present.

  • Odin Ponzi

    Big brother will destroy your freedom

  • Gloria Chinebuah

    This not about improving healthcare, it is more about maximizing money and profits to the detriment of humanity!

  • Gery A

    No human contact…. How boring and sad…

  • Mr Blueberry

    Then they sell ur information to companies and businesses exploiting ur future..

  • Mr Blueberry

    yay now what do I do… Half way through medical school then… Ai replaces people like me nice now my dept will never be paid off.. 👀

  • Mohammad Ali

    Ada app

  • Ren Yuanjie

    Thank you the Economist, keep inspiring people!

  • Tom Meyers

    The future of health care is a fake mustache and a Sombrero. In the Emergency room. Its all free Amigo.

  • Paulo de Tarso Gregorio Pereira


  • Paulo de Tarso Gregorio Pereira

    An inspirational video!

  • Niraj Ki Gyaan

    AI Will be great failure………

  • jacqueline schael

    May be in the rest of the developed world, but here in the U.S. only the wealthy will be able to enjoy all that healthcare high tech.

  • Matthew Nelson

    WHEN !

  • TheDaleDalek

    For the foreseeable future AI will not replace humans in the majority of healthcare settings. Whilst it has the capacity to augment healthcare teams and increase efficiency, it will never replace the human on human interaction that is the core of the doctor patient relationship. Even though AI has the capacity to speed up differential diagnoses, it will never be the one to make the final diagnosis any time soon. That role will always be done by a human.

    It is interesting to see how AI can increase efficiency and productivity in healthcare settings in the future, however I feel it will not go as far as many people think.

  • Nick Stahl


  • Clément Labonne

    WTF 3:30 ?

  • Richard Gunther

    But it could just lead to everyone becoming a hypochondriac…… Imagine constantly having your health data analysed

  • Paddy McNasty

    The most substantial of these improvements are decades away, when they do show up they will be used to fire as much staff as possible and ensuring the maximum work is done by the minimum people, too the detriment of providers and patients. Administrators will benefit, as they always have, by playing as fast and loose as they can. I assume Dr Topol hints at this with his final comments, as he himself as been the victim of self serving administrators, but I would have preferred a more forward statement, assuming those are his views at all. These advances themselves wont allow for more than kicking the can down the road, it is up to the providers/public to demand they be used in a system that ensures their full potential, which is potentially massive.

  • Stephan TheShooter

    1970s star trek show covered all those issues and more, he's talking like this is something new i mean forget about star trek ancien egyptian did all this and were collecting all data needed for centuries.

  • theknappkin

    Excellent video.

  • steph g

    4:21 thats all good, but what if the person lives alone? who will reconnect the wires if they fall? who will change the bed pan? and who will change out the IV drips? unless your taking about hospice, which already exists, i would like Doctors to make house calls again though,THAT would be cool

  • Martin O'BRIEN


  • 1LIFEtoWIN

    Big Pharma runs the medical industry, too many doctors are either not educated enough or corrupted into being pill shills.

  • The Pot Scientist Reports

    I believe that it will not be "devices" that monitor and improve our health but rather "companions". They gently suggest when we should get up, eat and exercise based on body scans unbeknownst to their owners. Best of all, we trust them because we tell them everything on our minds.

  • tim tim

    Is it have correct lyrics?

  • Charles Kuhn

    Is this a meme?

  • daniela

    Then again, no one mentions where and why there is an icrease of chronic heart and other diseases. Agriculture, meat consumption! Apparently profit (wealth) is more important than telling people the truth!! #vegan #decreaseofgreenhousegases#animalabuse#environmentalsustainability

  • ProPaleo

    Jeff Bezos is already working on it. I can see software with AI, exponentially increased computing power and memory make doctors obsolete in the near future.

  • Ron Villejo

    1. Use AI for doctors' clinical paperwork
    2. Use machines to reduce errors
    3. Harvest data to improve outcomes
    4. Treat patients at home, not in hospital

  • Joey

    this channel sucks

  • GoldenCraft03

    My english teacher loves your channel !

  • Simisani Moyo

    So things like this don't yet address how it is good to replace jobs for the same health care, albeit a marginal increase in health care provision, if you are reading this which would you choose better health or a good job? I dont like the way a.i and new tech is routinely touted today because it never addresses the new concerns people face with loss of employment, this creates an unease amongst corporate executives who for some reason because they went to Harvard and Yale possess all the world's knowledge despite being often responsible for catastrophies we believe are better thinkers than ourselves even though evidence shows these are destroying the planet ……….tech van help but we must put a human face to it, not replace humans with it. We can embrace it not make ourselves feel worthless after our own creations

  • Joseph Lewis

    You need to bring that to Africa immediately!!

  • billy joe ness

    Yo J no balls and MB and the KtLa5 owners were also involved in that pedophile and immigrant smuggling rin aight 😄😄😄 you rule

  • billy joe ness

    Hee hee hee, being elite is fun can we have some more fun… look Alfonso de Angoitia was named under the Panama paper what we can do is file a lawsuit, saying he defraud us most of that money was supposed to go to one of your trusts but he file for bankruptcy wich is not true and got away with that money it was to deposit in yer trust feel me? And then boom we can throw him in prison and have black rock repo their Casino biz, and their properties and high value stocks whatever and this can also apply to the other televisa idiots and TV azteca yep yep Im wicked hee hee you can repay with ruining more peoples lives like the idiots from tribune, my neighbors, Mb mcdade and the idiots from Imss that held back my cash please GIVE THE 358 FUCK HEADS A BIG BIG NARCO STYLE BEATIN before they get evicted and send that photage to the KTLA bitches hee hee hee can I have an apartement in the city??😊😊

  • billy joe ness

    Thank you. Thank you I appreciate it now before the tecos get evicted cover me cuz Im gonna fucked them up and the grand finale their eldest son the man of.the house bang bang

  • billy joe ness

    Im never gonna talk to em I Dont negotiate with terrorist accomplices

  • Sunny D

    This video gives me hope:

    One of my aunties is currently living in ICU for days now, every day the expense generated is draining her family. If no further positive turn-out in the next few days, her family will have to seek for a loan to cover it.

    I feel sad and helpless for I myself is in an extremely poor financial state struggling to pay my mortgage and other bills. All I can do is to pray that her conditions get better as soon as possible and offer all the comforting I can muster to her family.


  • Tony Selmanah

    It is frightening the fact that humanity is following paths that are completely unknown where they are leading to.I am most sure that the thrilling desire to make more and more money is leading humanity to Destruction and very soon.Technology is going to throw humanity down the cliff.What I am saying might seem paradoxical but unfortunately it is as true as one plus one is two.

  • Barry Varga

    Just another way of control the people

  • APE X

    In the Future …we are all fucked

    Toxins sicken + give everyone cancer

    We will be prisoners, patients + products

  • Martin Shkreli

    the future is cybermen lol

  • tamika jackson

    Among many things of forbidden knowledge.

  • Gabby S


  • BitchHunter Boi

    I think you shouldn’t put all your faith into Machines and people can stop being lazy, by 2037 it would be all Machines and we would basically be applying for engineering..Humans can do lots of stuff. We should NOT replace Machines with ourselves and humanity!

  • Victoria

    Where is the plan of depopulation ? Canada has a whacked health care system that kills people more than treating them. My dad was killed by Sunnybrook hospital doctors and nurses. They are a bunch of crooks who only care for money, run by the same people who run the White House.
    They control pharmaceutical companies, hospitals.

  • adventure kids toronto

    Noooooo whatc about uninployment

  • Karyyy Matthew

    i do not like this idea. i would prefer real surgeons. because this is what i want to become.

  • first Impression

    In the future humans won't have biologic bodies. That is if they still exist at all of course.

  • john dede

    The greedy pharmaceuticals will either assimilate or do whatever to suppress this…people rarely care about patients and diseases …ts all about earnings and profits to shareholders



  • OneLike YouBer

    Bad idea.

  • dante chersi

    western medicine make people sick like never bifore in medicine big farma poison people doktor just doit folow big farma slave of them

  • tony montana

    Don't believe nothing a liberal rag writes

  • phoenix sun

    and comes a storm that causes power failure and bye bye ai, we all die

  • phoenix sun

    "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."

  • Charlton Blake

    The hospital scene is one of the most rigid entities and changing it will be a very slow process due to the laws and oversight agencies as well as privacy concerns that bog down any kind of innovation.

  • Jose Ignacio Osorio Ponce


  • Rohit Karki

    Just imagine 22nd century Health care

  • Bodin Blaze

    have they never seen terminator?

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