Cedars Sinai / How AI and wearable technologies are changing medicine

Interview with Dr. Joseph Schwab, Director of the Center for Surgical Engineering and Innovation at Cedars-Sinai

Imagine a world where the digital watch on your wrist not only keeps track of the number of steps you take, but also your blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. The watch then automatically sends a personalized snapshot of your health to your doctor, alerting you to the first signs of illness.

This scenario could become a reality in the near future, according to Dr. Joseph SchwabDirector of the Center for Cedars-Sinai Surgical Engineering & InnovationWhich leads innovative research in wearable medical technologies.

schwabis also the director of Cedars-Sinai Orthopedic Surgery Spinal Oncologywill present the latest trends in its research on wearable medical technology during American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meetingwhat will be celebrated san francisco From 12th to 16th February. During the conference, schwab will also participate in President’s Seminar and share your knowledge about it Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)As chatgptWe will also discuss medical privacy issues that these technologies may raise.

He Cedars-Sinai Newsroom met him schwab To discuss the scope of his research and how he sees AI’s impact on the future of health care.

How is your laboratory different from other research centres?

My co-director, Dr. hamid ghednia, is a mechanical engineer and our laboratory is unique in that it is completely based on engineering. What we do every day is create things. Instead of test tubes and microscopes, we have lathes and band saws. We have several 3D printers and an entire room dedicated to electronics, where we solder devices. The engineering expertise of the research team is a key differentiator, and our clinical and engineering partnerships are distinctive from what we do. We not only have the equipment, but also the technical know-how that comes with it.

What innovations are you working on?

We focus on wearable devices. Consumer wearables on the market are basically motion trackers. They may have an accelerometer or gyroscope that simply measures position or speed to record steps and other data. What we do is different, because our devices send energy – in the form of light, electrical energy and sound – to the tissues, and we can measure that energy as it leaves the tissue and predict things based on that. How the energy affected the tissue.

For example, when you go to the doctor and they put a reflex hammer on your knee to check the reflex response, they are only able to identify the presence or absence of the reflex. Instead, the wearable devices we are developing can quantify the reflex response: how long it takes to respond, the strength of the response, etc. We can give this data a very specific numerical meaning, which we hope will translate into better diagnoses.

We are one of the few research centers in the country where we can identify a clinical need, discuss it, propose a potential solution, build it, and begin testing it. You can have it all in one center.

How is AI used in your work?

The sensors in our wearable devices capture incredible amounts of energy data as they travel through tissue, which requires advanced computing power to interpret. In short, AI is nothing more than that: highly advanced mathematics and computer programming. We use AI to interpret the captured data and correlate it with clinical problems.

In addition to our wearable technologies, we can also use AI to make small-scale predictions for use in clinical practice, such as interpreting electronic health data. For example, a patient may consider undergoing a procedure that has a 5% complication risk for the general population; However, if we use AI to interpret your personal information, we may know that your personal risk of complication is closer to 25%. This can greatly influence your decision making. These types of more accurate predictions are a form of personalized medicine.

Who can benefit from these new technologies?

These technologies can truly benefit the entire medical spectrum. Patients whose health data is analyzed may receive more personalized care. For example, they can be targeted with more accurate tests to achieve accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment, and ultimately lead to better outcomes.

There is also a possibility that it will have a positive impact on medical payers and insurance companies by making correct treatment decisions and thus reducing health care expenses. There are many opportunities and benefits in this.

Where do you see the sector going in the next five to ten years?

In my opinion, it won’t take much longer for us to stop using the terms artificial intelligence and machine learning because they will be embedded in everything we do, running in the background as common practice. This will stop being a mystery.

As far as wearable technologies are concerned, I believe they will become part of the expected process of medical evaluation. These tools provide the opportunity to learn much more than can be obtained from a basic physical examination, and data can be obtained before the patient even visits the doctor. A medical appointment can be more accurate and efficient when the provider is able to review and interpret data that has already been collected.

The integration of wearable technology and AI into health care consumption and delivery will only increase over time, and I think people will become very comfortable and start trusting these devices in a positive way.

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