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 Chris Orwa

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Can technology replace doctors in third world countries

Zahanati: A research project on application of Artificial Intelligence in diagnosis of Malaria in Kenya

Zahanati app, developed by Doban Africa, is a research project that aims to reduce incidence of late diagnosis of malaria by availing tools for self diagnosis.

The use of artificial intelligence technologies in medical diagnosis has been around since the emergence of machine learning in 1950s (Symbolic learning, statistical/pattern recognition, and neural networks). However, it is only with the maturation of pattern recognition branch of machine learning that considerably accurate results were obtained for medical diagnosis. And while the field of machine learning in medical diagnosis continue to be heavily researched, a few challenges will continue to depress wide spread application of these technologies.



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  • Apr 9 2012: Certainly technologies have and will continue to "replace" doctors and other health care workers. But currently, most humans require and/or want personal contact with their doctors to result in successful and satisfactory outcomes in health. With regards to specific diagnosis, I think this personal interaction is not always required. But we are many years from being able to have computers and artificial intelligence replace health care workers in treatment. The often subtle signs and symptoms of the diseases that we suffer from are often very difficult for physicians to identify. I know there will be great improvements coming in this area. But I predict that these technologies with require a significant contributions of health care workers to be effective.
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      Apr 11 2012: The need for personal contact with doctors maybe limited to field like physiotherapy, psychiatry or dentistry. Common sickness, according to my view can be diagnosed by technology.

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