Artificial intelligence on Call

Artificial intelligence on Call
Aid: A Pearl dentist consults with a patient using the company’s AI-assisted X-ray platform.

Local health tech companies are rushing to capitalize on the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, seeking to apply these machine-learning technologies to improve health care delivery, patient outcomes and drug development.

These companies are developing artificial intelligence platforms that aid medical professionals in diagnosing patients, tailoring treatment plans, changing patient behaviors and speeding up the development of new pharmaceutical products.

“AI has been a focus for startups and digital health companies for quite some time,” said Taylor McPartland, chief executive of Palms-based ScaleHealth, which focuses on helping health care companies incorporate the latest innovations in the field into their products and services. 

The basic idea behind the artificial intelligence platforms these companies are building is taking patient data and using machine-learning tools to analyze that data and turn it into more usable forms for the myriad of medical professionals treating patients. This can include things such as aggregating patient profiles, learning how to recognize tumors and other conditions on medical images, and monitoring medical literature and social media platforms to pick out any relevant information for the conditions being studied or treated.

On the imaging front, Culver City-based Avenda Health Inc. has a platform that compiles 3-D image maps of prostate cancer tumors to better guide urologists and oncologists on their treatment approaches, while West Hollywood-based Pearl Inc. has a platform that is trained to detect the earliest signs of cavities or gum disease that X-ray technicians and dentists might not catch.

On the patient-profile side, Pasadena-based Deep 6 AI Inc. uses artificial intelligence to search through thousands of patient records to match specific patients with clinical trials, while Redondo Beach-based PredictView Technologies Inc. uses AI to sift through social media postings of mental health patients to catch warning signs that the treating mental health professionals might otherwise be unaware of.

These and other local companies are profiled on the following pages.

Because all of these artificial intelligence applications are designed to help medical professionals do a better job of diagnosing and treating patients – in other words, “assistive” artificial intelligence – they are sidestepping for now the major controversies that have been the focus of criticism and congressional hearings. 

Those controversies have focused more on “generative” artificial intelligence algorithms such as ChatGPT (developed by San Francisco-based OpenAI) that can fill out conversations, write essays and articles and perform other content-creating tasks. They have not so far focused on assistive artificial intelligence programs.

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