The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body, a muscular organ responsible for circulating blood around the body. The function of the heart is to transport deoxygenated blood through the veins and deliver this blood to the lungs for oxygenation. Once the blood has been oxygenated, it is pumped through various arteries with the purpose of providing oxygen and nutrients to tissues in the body. By transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, the heart seems to carry an all-important role, vital for the daily functioning of the human body. As blood is pumped around the body, using a system of valves and ventricles, arteries are filled with blood as this circulation process takes place. Suffice to say, the heart seems to play an important role in the daily operation of the body and one many strive to ensure is operating at optimum performance.
In order to maintain a healthy heart, professionals may recommend healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Through maintaining a balanced diet by eating fruit and vegetables regularly or getting frequent exercise, the health of one’s heart may improve overall. However, as the heart is internal, it may be challenging to gauge the health of this muscular organ. The complexity of the human body may only be accurately evaluated with the tools of a professional such as a doctor. Doctor’s may be equipped with an array of tools to predict and evaluate the body, yet it may be the arrival of new technology which might improve the accuracy of each check-up.
Recent evidence suggests scientists may have developed a computer capable of performing accurate cardiovascular evaluations which may enhance internal diagnosis. Doctors may typically evaluate an individual’s health through measure their age, cholesterol level and blood pressure to facilitate an accurate reading of cardiovascular health. This new computer aims to use this data and run it through a complex algorithm to provide an accurate reading to support the Doctor in his/her task. The algorithm used seems to be known as “machine-learning” and may offer an alternative approach to standard prediction modelling. The algorithm used seems to be a form of artificial intelligence and may be capable of machine-learning as a result of the vast amount of data analysed over time.
Using records from previous patients, scientists were able to feed 378,256 medical records into the computer which searched for patterns in the data. This data was analysed and patterns between an individual’s traits and their cardiovascular health identified. According to the research journal published, this method “relies on a computer to learn all complex and non-linear interactions between variables by minimising the error between predicted and observed outcomes.” With this method a computer may be able to absorb and analyse more information than a Doctor might, potentially resulting in faster diagnosis and improved evaluations.
In the scientific journal published, the scientists involved in this study stated their aim was to “evaluate whether machine-learning [is able to] improve the accuracy of cardiovascular risk prediction within a large general primary care population.” As medical professionals continue to evaluate patients, the adoption of a complex artificial intelligence, one capable of analysing vast amounts of data and making accurate predictions, may benefit their daily practice. The results of this study seem to suggest machine-learning might be capable accurate while “increasing the number of patients identified who [may] benefit from preventive treatment”. As a result of this, medical professionals may see a new era of human expertise as artificial intelligence may provide a helping hand in patient evaluation and future treatment.
How might machine-learning improve cardiovascular prediction?