Tencent comes to London to speed up Parkinson's diagnoses

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The Chinese firm, Tencent, has teamed up with a London-based medical firm, Medopad, in order to help speed up diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease from half an hour to minutes using artificial intelligence. The two firms have developed software, which could be packaged as a mobile app, that watches a patient open and close their hands, it can then use the “frequency and amplitude” to determine a score for the patient which represents the severity of the Parkinson’s disease.

The AI that’s used to perform the calculations has been trained with videos from the King’s College Hospital in London that feature patients that have previously been assessed by doctors. While the main aim is to cut down the assessment time, the finished product may mean that a trip to the doctor isn’t even required – this would be a significant development in countries with poor healthcare systems where care is expensive, or it’s difficult for rural patients to get to a doctor.

Dr Wei Fan, head of the Tencent Medical AI lab, speaking to the BBC, said the firm was looking to do work in the U.S., U.K., and other countries:

“We are looking forward to clinical trials in both China and US and other countries. We will strictly follow local regulations and when we have the results they will benefit not just one country but globally.”

How easy it will be for Tencent to follow through on these plans in the U.S. is up for debate given the current climate surrounding trade between the two countries. With regards to trusting China in the field of healthcare, Wei Fan claimed that Tencent would be “open and transparent” with the project so that it “will work for everyone.”

Source: BBC News

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