The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare seems to grow at a frenetic pace. Indeed, according to a forecast by IBM, the medical AI market will be worth $200 billion a year in a few years. And Skychain, a key player in advancing the use of healthcare AI, has made public its goal of capturing a lion's share of the market.
Skychain is a project which aims to use Blockchain to train and use AI systems in medical care. In particular, Skychain hopes to control 70 percent of the ballooning medical AI market through the planned launch of a "distributed open network" system of artificial neural networks (ANNs), which can diagnose patients and prescribe the relevant treatments.
Essentially, the people behind this Skychain project are turning to AI for help in reducing medical errors. As reported in previous studies, many patients in the U.S. were killed every year from medical errors, such as misdiagnosis or incorrect dosage administration by healthcare professionals. Skychain claims their mission is to save 10 million lives from error-related deaths within a decade, following the launch of its ANN system.
The system aims to “provide an opportunity to engineer, teach and host neural networks and provide paid access for independent specialists and organisations.” By using smart contracts, Skychain hopes to unite many individual parties (healthcare big data providers, independent AI developers, crypto miners and the consumers – doctors and patients) to create one effective solution.
Developers can submit ready-made ANN templates for doctors to choose from when diagnosing a patient. Once the networks have analysed the data and returned the diagnosis information to the doctor, the developers and miners who provided the computing power will receive financial remuneration.
Setting up these symbiotic relationships will involve medical institution laboratories with large datasets, looking to set up and train their own neural networks (which can then also be used by others). They can offer these datasets for ANN training by developers. These developers can use a "SkyConstructor" interface, and using a ready-made ANN template can edit it to meet the requirements of the institution once uploaded into Skychain. Once the ANN has completed the learning process, it can be published. Skychain uses the analogy of the highly popular Uber taxi service: ANN developers are the drivers, doctors and patients the passengers, and the computer and servers of miners the cars.
According to their roadmap, by June 2018 “the Skychain infrastructure is fully built, and early participants connect to it: healthcare data providers, medical AI developers, and hospitals.” They aim to be fully established by June 2019 and become “the leader in the medical AI market.”
Ahead of the full launch, the Skychain team has created a prototype of the system, along with its source code. There is also a video demonstrating the system, for those who wish to learn more.
Last month, Skychain also ran a demonstration of their AI diagnostics system, comparing it to face-to-face doctors. Both attempted to diagnose melanoma, breast cancer and heart disease, and the team claims that there were instances of higher accuracy with the AI system. If the results can be verified this will be an extremely exciting step forward in healthcare diagnostics.
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