How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Burn Victims

Aug 19, 2016

By Adrienne LaFrance

It takes years, decades even, for physicians to refine the expertise required to notice details that remain invisible to the untrained. This aptitude, depending on a doctor’s specialty, might mark the difference between an oncologist knowing a malignant tumor from a benign cyst. It can help a cardiologist determine the velocity of blood as it flows through a hole in the heart. Or it may tell a reconstructive plastic surgeon whether a severe burn is healing nicely or at risk of infection.

None of this is easy unless you know how to see in a certain way.

“The further along you get in your training, the better you are at picking up little subtleties,” says Jonathan Kanevsky, a plastic surgeon at the McGill University Health Center in Montreal. “But every physician is limited by the number of cases they’ve seen in their lifetime.”

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