As more than 10 million people worldwide are currently living with Parkinson’s disease and since environmental pollutants are likely to be one of the causing factors, diagnosing this condition as early as possible is mandatory, in order to establish the proper treatment course and enhance the quality of life of those affected by it.
The main purpose of AI is the ability to use its computational power to come up with faster process solving methods and reduce the time-frame required for results.
Tencent and Medopad team up to fight Parkinson
The leading AI tech investor in China, Tencent has found it appropriate to team up with the London-based medical company, Medopad, in a what seems to be a successful collaboration. Their goal is to use artificial intelligence to reduce diagnosis time on Parkinson’s Disease from 30 minutes to less than a few minutes.
The technology is based on a camera that captures limb movements of Parkinson patients and helps determine the severity of the condition.
The knowledge database of the AI is based on videos of patients, already diagnosed, from King’s College Hospital in London.
The head of the Tencent Medical AI Laboratory, Dr. Wei Fan explains:
We use AI to measure the deterioration of Parkinson’s disease patients without the patient wearing any sensors or devices
Using a technology developed by Medopad, the goal is to reduce a diagnostic procedure which currently takes more than 30 minutes and is always doctor-assisted, to less than 3 minutes, without human evaluation at all.
Medopad’s history involves developing wearable devices and apps that help monitor patients with different conditions, from heart problems to Alzheimer sufferers.
Their background is what made them fit for a collaboration with a giant like Tencent, as Dan Vahdat (Medopad’s chief executive) puts it:
Our ambition is to impact a billion patients around the world – and to be able to get to that kind of scale we need to work with partners that have international reach
In a world where a fight on AI supremacy is being fought between the US and China, Medopad’s decision to team up with a Chinese company raises question marks. However, it is important to understand the key purpose, which is to deliver results through a ground-breaking diagnostic procedure.
We are looking forward to clinical trials in both China and US and other countries. We will strictly follow local regulations and when we have the results they will benefit not just one country but globally – Wei Fan
It is important to understand their efforts are not a singularity, as two researchers at Switzerland’s Institute for Robotics are developing an app which will analyze various required movements from patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, and with the help of AI and joint efforts of all scientists involved in the medical field, it might just be possible to diagnose Parkinson’s Disease with AI.