Fifth cup of coffee in this overwhelming atmosphere of the October evening, cold and wheezing wind casts small drops of rain from the greyhound sky towards windowpane… Reverie and flying ideas about the future of psychiatry. Is it possible to find a solution for all of the human mind’s problems?
People often ask me about the most breathtaking thing about the AI’s behaviour. Well, first of all, I was, quite frankly, amazed that it had worked at all.
Having such a scarce instrumentarium, I wasn’t sure if I could emulate an environment that could facilitate the conversation and to bring any meaningful values back.
But when the first shock of it working worn off, I was baffled by the variety of different suggestions proposed by the algorithm.
There are people cleverer than me who can set up a complex processing software that will check for a given hypothesis. But I wanted for the AI to come up with a completely novel hypothesis and to test it out. In fact, I wanted it to come up with a number of new ideas, concepts and suggestions and to test them all out in turn, so that, at the end of the day, I could browse through these that work on paper and judge their clinical feasibility.
The modern world collects an obscenely humongous amount of information about humans, their interactions, patterns of behaviour, health states and service use. Connected to super-cluster servers and cloud storages are endless streams of data coming from our phones, watches, cameras, fridges and toasters, most of which we submit voluntarily, with varying degree of awareness of what happens to them later on.
Clinical audit is a quality improvement process aiming to find a solution to the problem or to make the health system more efficient and safe. The continuous cycle of audits and re-audits ensures that the hospital improves its delivery of care on a regular basis.
This comes at a huge cost.
An audit needs to be completed manually by a large number of staff involved in entering the data, analysing it, reporting and implementing its findings. The hours spent on compiling and audit are hours lost to the frontline health service and that puts an extra burden on a cash-strapped health service.
A helping hand of a computer.
What if we could use a super smart machine to take the burden off our NHS? Three young scientists from the University of Bristol (UK) developed a new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based algorithm that can achieve just that.
The findings of their simulation experiment have just been published in the International Journal of Surgery earlier this month. In this hot off the press article, they proved that the algorithm makes the process quicker, cheaper and pain-free.
RECENT ADVANCES IN RESTORATION OF SIGHT
John Freke, the first ophthalmic surgeon in Britain started practising at St Bart’s around the time when the Bristol Royal Infirmary opened its doors, but it was not until Baron de Wenzel’s appointment in 1772 that the specialty gained its true recognition. After becoming an oculist to King George III, de Wenzel perfected his skill in removing the cataracts, which was seen at a time as an almost miraculous deed of evangelical magnitude (1).
MY LORD I have learned with the greatest regret today that our honorary fellow, Prof Jerzy Vetulani has unfortunately passed away, shortly after 9 pm Oxford time on Thursday. I am sure that the whole House would like to join me in sharing the condolences with the family of Prof Vetulani on this very sad day.
Prof Vetulani was a true hero of our times: bravely defending the basic sciences of neurology and psychology, engaging with the public and inspiring generations of young doctors and scientists.
The Prefect and the Convocation House of the Oxford Neurological Society, upon application of the Fellow for Honours, decided to confer the award of the Honorary Fellowship on prof Jerzy Adam Gracjan Vetulani, a distinguished neuropsychobiologist affiliated with the Jagiellonian University in Cracow and the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
It was January 1845. Boston Massachusetts General Hospital’s Surgical Theatre was never so empty as then. A monotonous and boring speech about cranial trepanation did not attract a broad auditorium. Meeting of a thick and inelegant drill, in connection with human bone and brain meninges, almost always resulted in an exacerbated infection and a terrible death of the patient.
Among fleers and whispers of the students, it could be heard:
“Humbug, seriously? How He wants to do it, it’s impossible.”
I have had an immense pleasure of reading the Oxford Handbook of Retrieval Medicine. It was an enjoyable, satisfying and, above all, adventurous journey, and I’d like to share a couple of my reflections.
Before I dive into the exciting world of retrieval medicine, I must admit that I had little knowledge of the field before reading the book, and only after digesting a solid portion of the publication did I realise how ignorant I had been.
Nonetheless, I would bet my kingdom, and a horse, that many of you have little to no idea what retrieval medicine actually is. And this is exactly why you should read the book.
It will certainly blow your mind, inspire you and make you feel grateful for the truly Benedictine effort that went into preparing this unique handbook.
The Oxford Neurological Society would like to welcome and encourage the change in pharmacological recommendations proposed by some members. Namely, we believe that the two group of drugs: the amantadine and anticholinergics are yet another example of basic science that fails to manifest any symptomatic improvement clinically.