Having been down at Google’s DeepMind office earlier this week its man vs AI machine gaming competition preview, I was tipped off that a potentially-more-serious healthcare announcement would follow soon.
That it has, but contrary to what the company’s remit might suggest, this project doesn’t actually contain any artificial intelligence at launch.
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“To date, no machine learning has been involved in these projects,” the company said. “While there is obvious potential in applying machine learning to these kinds of complex challenges, any decision to do so will led by clinicians.”
DeepMind has announced an acquisition in the shape of an Imperial College London spinout company called Hark, which has spent five years developing a clinical task management app to help prevent delays and deaths caused by poor communication.
The Google-owned company has been collaborating with UK doctors since last summer and will be integrating Hark into a prototype created to help clinicians perform instant analysis, and escalation if necessary, on test results.
Its humble long-term target is “preventing sepsis” by helping doctors spot it early. Would you believe many doctors still use pagers?
The company has also created a new team called DeepMind Health, which will lead future work with the National Health Service and be overseen by an unpaid ‘Independent Reviewer.’
Charged with reviewing legal agreements, security measures and product plans, then publishing their findings – this new public oversight roll is likely necessary to assuage fears that Google is about to be your new public health provider.