I have always been fascinated by cognition. My master’s degree in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems at the University of North Texas gave me a lot of opportunities to learn about machine learning, artificial intelligence and how technology can support cognitive processes. There is only so much that one mind can retain about all of the different symptoms and criteria for diagnosis especially when some syndromes and diseases can be very rare.
In looking at how cognitive systems can impact our personal health journeys, I think back to when our fourth son was born. There were very subtle hints that something was not “normal” (whatever normal may be!) Both the neonatal nurse and I asked the doctor about it and we were told not to worry that he didn’t have Down syndrome. Eight months later, a casual question to an endocrinologist at an appointment for one of the big brothers began to uncover the true diagnosis of mosaic Down syndrome*. It’s rare and many practitioners have not seen it or the subtle differences between it and the typical trisomy 21 presentation. If there had been cognitive systems in place that could have analyzed the narrative of the the questions asked, the subtle symptoms, and the birth story, then perhaps we would have been able to get an earlier intervention plan.
The opportunities for cognitive systems to change healthcare is beginning to bloom and I am excited to see the possibilities from both the hospital system perspective and the technology that can fit in the patients’ hand.
Read the Source Article at How Machine Learning, Big Data And AI Are Changing Healthcare Forever.
*Mosaic Down Syndrome occurs when there is a mixture of cells with 46 chromosomes and 47 chromosomes. It occurs in about 1 in 800 Down syndrome births. Learn more at the International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association.