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AI to help build healthier nation

By Chai Hua in Wuzhen | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-19 07:14

As many technology companies are joining the healthcare industry, artificial intelligence will drive the development of a new smart health model in the future, experts said on Thursday.

The smart health industry has integrated the latest achievements of information technology and medical science, said Li Bin, minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

She made the comment while addressing a forum during the third World Internet Conference, which opened in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday.

She said smart health is becoming the leading force to drive the development of China's health industry and a new health care service model is emerging.

Last month, the State Council, the country's cabinet, issued the "Healthy China 2030" blueprint, which aims to expand the size of health service industry to 16 trillion yuan ($2.35 trillion) by 2030.

Zhan Qimin, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of the Peking University Health Science Center, affirms AI technology is the driving force in the new smart health industry, especially in the development of precision medicine.

He noted China is seeing a surge in chronic non-communicable and critical diseases, and precision medicine can provide precise and efficient therapy to improve the overall health and well-being.

AI techniques, such as representation machine learning, could offer improved clinical prediction regarding disease risks, therapeutic effect, and prognosis prediction, compared with traditional tools, he added.

Moreover, he noted the machine learning framework could provide clinical decision support and policy simulation, which would definitely improve the effectiveness and efficiency of precision medicine.

Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu, said AI technology also plays an important role in accelerating the development of genetic medicine.

He said it is one of the most "exciting" application areas of AI technology and there will be many breakthroughs and opportunities in the field.

So far, genetic editing is mostly applied in the treatment of some rare diseases, he said.

The internet giant has developed Baidu Brain based on its artificial intelligence technology. Li said 80 percent of the diagnosis results using its technology are in accordance with the opinions of doctors, according to a test at Peking University International Hospital.

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