Blog

How AI* Can Help Patients Cope with Chronic Diseases like Allergies

*artificial intelligence

Meet Lawrence (photo filter: Deep Art Effects)

Red eyes, a runny nose, an itchy rash, shortness of breath, or swelling…. most of us have experienced these symptoms at least once. According to a Statista survey, around 20% of adults in the U.S. suffer from allergies. Moreover, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

Besides those statistics, there are also economic costs on society. The total annual cost is estimated to be around $24.8 billion for allergic rhinitis, $94.5 billion for asthma morbidity, and $10.8 billion for asthma mortality.

Having a disease obviously has a huge impact on one’s personal life and lifestyle. Recently I shared in a blog post my experience with my son and how I brutally realized that medicine operates a lot through a trial and error method.

The development of AI technology is a top priority in healthcare applications. It can bring value to physicians and patients in different aspects of disease management, from diagnosing allergies to cancer to heart disease.

The development of AI technology is a top priority in healthcare applications. It can bring value to physicians and patients in different aspects of disease management, from diagnosing allergies to cancer to heart disease.

For example, researchers at Stanford created a model for diagnosing skin cancer. With a database of 130,000 skin disease images, the algorithm is able to diagnose the potential for cancer. The final version of the prediction model was tested against 21 certified dermatologists and showed that it matched the performance of human professionals.

Consider another example of predicting the risk of heart attack: a model developed by experts from the University of Nottingham outperformed doctors in predicting which patients face the risk of a heart attack. The model predicted 7.6 percent more heart attacks compared to human doctors.

This is just the beginning of a widespread implementation of AI technology that is able to demonstrate astonishing predictive accuracy.

How the doc.ai medical research program on allergies can help users cope with their disease?

The doc.ai app was created to fully deliver on precision medicine using AI to provide insights and help assist in diseases management and prevention.The application of blockchain technology is designed to allow the decentralization of users’ data to ensure privacy and security.

Step by step we are implementing various medical research programs to help people cope with their diseases. We call these research programs data trials as described by our chief Science Officer Jeremy Howard in a recent blog post. Currently, we are running the first AI driven data trial: The program is called “Can AI predict your risks for allergies?” and aims to help people actively track and control their allergy disease and symptoms in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The current state of AI technology allows us to learn about a large amount of real-world data with relatively low computational cost. These advantages are applied to various domains, including healthcare, and are specifically beneficial for allergy research purposes. With this in mind, doc.ai intends to fully utilize the advanced technologies towards the betterment of health management. Doc.ai has built an AI and machine learning platform which includes proprietary datasets and models to aid in the development of predictive models with other real-world data.

The doc.ai app interface is designed to collect useful data to help build effective predictive models.

In the phenome section, AI technology uses selfies to predict biometric data, like weight, height, age, sex, etc. This information increases over time and with the improvement of the model are able to help users change their lifestyle).

In the exposome section, by entering your location and other geographical related data, our predictive model can help a user learn how their environment may influence their health.

The physiome section, the app collects information on daily activity from tracking devices, like Fitbit or Apple Health.

With a full set of data, the predictive model can provide patterns of disease and a user can better understand their behaviors, triggers in allergy symptoms, and their disease states thanks to convenient visualization.

In doc.ai we are very sensitive to providing accurate information to our medical research users, healthcare providers, and patients. We thank all the participants for their input and strive to provide them with useful insights through a points system. By joining data trials, users can earn points for tracking their symptoms during the program. They can later turn points into valuable rewards (we will share more about the reward system later).

Meet Lawrence

Lawrence grew up in one of the most polluted cities in the US and has been suffering from allergies since childhood with a full list of typical allergy symptoms: from asthma attacks to hay fever to eczema and so on. A doctor once told him that in his case they had seen nearly everything on the scale of allergy symptoms. It’s not hard to imagine how limited and inconvenient this kind of lifestyle must be. With the goal of helping people like Lawrence, doc.ai has developed a research program with the support of our advisors from Harvard Medical School.

Currently, doc.ai is running a data trial that handles information about participant symptoms, lifestyle, and environmental conditions and provides insights on allergy patterns and helps patients become more mindful about their disease and how to improve their lifestyle to reduce unnecessary risks of perpetual symptoms. Our goal is to facilitate a platform for people with their healthcare management to improve their quality of life.

If you are suffering from an allergy and are tired of dealing with the symptoms and consequences, we invite you to join our medical research program, “Can AI predict your risks for allergies?”

Learn more, download the app here.

Sam De Brouwer, Cofounder, Chief Operating Officer