On March 23rd, Silicon Valley Global health hosted our bi-monthly public forum in partnership with the Aaroogya Foundation, featuring Dr. Ivo Bolsens, senior vice president and CTO of computer processing platform innovator Xilinx, and award winning prosthodontic surgeon and co-founder of Aaroogya Dr. Dhruv Kacker. Mediated by Richard Dasher, head of the US-Asia Technology Management Center at Stanford University, these two experts discussed the promises and challenges of implementing artificial intelligence to provide preventative health care and health management to under-served rural communities.
There are two components of artificial intelligence (AI) which according to Dr. Bolsens are required for an AI system to be effective: learning and deployment. To teach an AI program how to work effectively requires feeding it millions of data points from which—through trial and error—it gleans the information needed to become reliable. Dr. Bolsens expressed that since the amount of data generated in health care industries is doubling every 73 days, training and employing AI technology which in the 1980s and 1990s was only theoretical and unusable has now been made practical to those whose infrastructure can house the training process.
While AI technology has extraordinary potential as a health care solution, Dr. Kacker’s message granted audiences a first-hand look into the plausibility, obstacles, and potential for AI implementation in rural Indian health care. While Aaroogya’s AI-powered Niramai scanners have been effective in scanning tens of thousands of women, there are nation-wide obstacles in India that must be overcome to implement widespread AI-powered health services to its people. In much of rural India, many still use feature phones which lack the computing power to engage in telehealth programs. Additionally, health care workers and patients have had little exposure to digital health. Since India has only begun collecting health data in the past 4 or 5 years, and many healthcare workers are over 40, displacing the traditional face-to-face healthcare model with digitally mediated health care will certainly prove strenuous.
Dr. Kacker and Dr. Bolsens agree that Indian health care workers, government officials, and those serving in the rural locations of the world need education in data analytics so that they can build competency regarding the AI process and its bounds in relation to health care. The next step for India will thus involve the government setting an example by educating itself on how to collect data and sort it in a standardized format which is secure yet accessible with permission to companies who can use the data to improve the lives of those in India.
Please visit the link below to view this event: