The World Health Organization (WHO) are working tirelessly to make universal health coverage a reality. Every individual across the globe deserves access to basic medical care from GP appointments to scanning equipment, medication and operations. The WHO believes that the 'key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need when they need it, right in the heart of the community.' The lack of healthcare available in developing countries not only impacts the spread of disease and illness but also significantly lowers the life expectancy of millions of people. 'Millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.'

With the rapid advances in AI, there is huge potential for healthcare to be positively transformed and to help overcome the challenges of doctor shortage and financial limitations. In developing countries, one of the largest bottlenecks in providing adequate care lies in the shortage of doctors. Two doctors from Nigeria ‘their African country of 190 million people has a major shortage of doctors. They are among a group of fewer than 60 radiologists that serve the entire country’s population.’ It is evident that a solution is needed, and training more human doctors is inefficient - it’s time consuming, costly, and unreliable. In the western world, one of the most important components of modern healthcare is diagnostic medical imaging to help diagnose diseases more efficiently and at earlier stages than previously possible. Medical imaging is still time-consuming and labour intensive, but by applying deep learning to the method it becomes quick, accurate and in many cases, life-saving. The technology is expensive and still the subject of much research, but progress is moving quickly in the western world which will then filter to other corners of the globe to transform their healthcare practices.

At the Deep Learning in Healthcare Summit in Boston this May 23 - 24, global AI healthcare experts will explore this topic in further detail. Confirmed speakers include Sadid Hasan, Philips Research; James Cai, Roche Innovation Center; Amit Deshwar, Deep Genomics; Wei-Lun Hsu Alterovitz, FDA and many more.

This infographic explains the efficacy of medical imaging and highlights the ways in which it could be a transformative technology.