The promise—and pitfalls—of medical AI headed our way

A patient is lying on the operating table as the surgical team reaches an impasse. They can’t find the intestinal rupture. A surgeon asks aloud, “Check whether we missed a view of any intestinal section in the visual feed of the last 15 minutes.” An artificial intelligence medical assistant gets to work reviewing the patient’s past scans and highlighting video streams of the procedure in real time. It alerts the team when they’ve skipped a step in the procedure and reads out relevant medical literature when surgeons encounter a rare anatomical phenomenon.

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