The future of AI, an interview with Joop Snijder

Joop Snijder is the Head of Research Center AI at Info Support and he is responsible for developing software for health care institutions, banks, insurance companies and other types of organizations. Info Center serves as a bridge between science and the healthcare field.

When asked if the Covid-19 outbreak impacted the way companies operate and did it give them a reason to switch over to more digital, Joop responded that the virus has indeed made some companies and organizations stop doing what they were doing because they were experiencing difficulty coping in this time while other organizations are taking great strides during the pandemic. According to Joop, it all depends on the organization.


During an interview, Joop explained this more.

“I have to start all the way around the setting in health care. There’s a lot of unstructured data in the way of tests and the body, hospitals and doctors are not willing to share that information because it’s very confidential.”

“But it’s a great source for a machine learning to see if you can see patterns or maybe help to diagnose patients. So, what is it researching? AI is about how we can use that information without sharing confidential information. Through this technique, we can use it for structured data like numbers and categorical data, but not for unstructured data. My student, he’s researching that, especially for the health care issues.”

Joop also goes on to explain that the future approach will be focused on patients and trying to gain the trust of each one. To do this, for example, they want to create a watch that houses data. If someone is having a heart problem, the data would alert them.

Telemedicine and virtual health have also become a popular phase during the pandemic. It also has professionals in the medical field thinking about the future of medicine. It has become clear; the future advancement of professional medicine will need to be rolled out into stages.

Experimental stage

“The first stage is the stage where we are in now. It’s the experimental stage. We try to automate   familiar tasks with AI that we couldn’t automate with traditional software engineering, like scanning x-rays for early symptoms of cancer or to find the right diagnosis for extraordinary diseases by searching literature by an AI. As said, this stage is focused on experimenting with familiar tasks and is centered around the organizations own data combined with some open data. In this stage we’ll learn about the usability of AI. Some experiments will disappoint us, because the state-of-the-art of AI isn’t far enough to resolve the problems, we are after. Or the implementation of the AI solution is too expensive and needs too much maintenance to be successful. On the other hand, some AI experiments will surprise us and those will open a world of new possibilities. “

Building trust stage

“The next stage we are heading to is the ‘building trust’ stage. Although we can achieve amazing results with AI, people need to trust the outcome of AI before they will use such systems. Medical staff needs to be able to trust that the AI can empower them instead of replacing them. If AI augments their tasks, they’re willing to adopt the new technology. Because the adoption of new technology isn’t new for the sector. In the last decade, technology changed healthcare and improved the way patients are treated, so will artificial intelligence. “

“It’s important to mention that in this stage and in the couple of next stages in no way the doctor, radiologist, or any other medical staff will be replaced by AI. All AI based systems will help them to make better decisions and to improve their jobs. No AI will be responsible for the ultimate diagnosis or treatment, so you could sue someone if something went wrong. “

“At this stage organizations still using their own data combined with open data and the focus is still on familiar tasks, maybe extended with new ideas. In my opinion this stage will take a couple of years to complete.”

Bring your own data stage

“Consumers and patients will be using and trusting AI way sooner. With the rise of wearables, they own tons of data and will get notified on irregularities as soon as they happen. With the help of AI an Apple Watch can detect cardiac arrhythmias and soon it will possibly detect upcoming panic attacks. Patients will rely on this technology and will bring their measured concerns and data to their treating institutions. “

Bring doctors to the patient stage

“We need to shift from being patient to doctor in order to bring doctor to patient. With trust comes the ability to move. “

“The treatment can increasingly be brought closer to the patient. By linking personal data to signals for diagnosis, the doctor can work out a treatment. It can be monitored close to the patient and largely monitored by AI. The patient can be coached by the AI. So that adjustments are made more quickly, and treatment is followed more faithfully.”

The ‘We cannot imagine this future’ stage

“Here, healthcare has changed so much that we can no longer imagine that we could ever work without AI. It is as if we should now work without a microscope, antibiotics or without scans. “



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