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Applying AI & NLP in Healthcare: Lessons Learned

David Talby

David Talby

CTO at John Snow Labs

David Talby CTO John Snow Labs

Artificial intelligence is part of everyday life. There have been phenomenal developments within machine learning. With unlocking facial recognition software, RPA bots for customer services and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). This enables more predictability, efficiency and growth in industries such as banking, data processing, cyber security. However, the most beneficial is in applying AI and NLP to healthcare.

We spoke with David Talby, Chief Technology Officer at John Snow Labs to understand why these developments are so important…

The Importance of NLP 

David explains that healthcare has hundreds of languages which the algorithms need to take into consideration very specific medical jargon. The Spark NLP Library – the most used system in an enterprise setting, by 50% of healthcare NLP practitioners – can understand human prose and reduce the need to read patient notes. NLP allows clinical protocol automation, providing more readily available insights. 

“Today we can match or exceed human performance for well-defined tasks in terms of accuracy”  

In healthcare, a lot of things are still done manually – even simple things like counting how many people had COVID. The same problem applies to treatment plans which allows for significant margins of error, which in healthcare can be catastrophic. A physician looking through a patient records whilst deciding a treatment plan can easily miss details which could negatively impact the patient. 

Applying AI & NLP in Healthcare 

The adoption of NLP in healthcare can be transformational as it facilitates the interpretation of large amounts of data in order to gain value insights and make more accurate decisions that lead to better patient care. 

Among others, these insights help to accelerate the process of matching patients with clinical trials. We know from COVID that every additional week or month counts when finding a cure. The same applies when finding cures for illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s, COPD and chronic pain – many people are just waiting for clinical trials. NLP is increasingly used to identify candidate patients and handle regulatory documentation to speed up this process.  

David will be joining us for the next edition of our virtual CIO Visions Leadership Summit and demonstrate how his real-world NLP applications findings in life science can benefit every industry and segment within an organisation. 

Discover the range of executive events here.