Even as an academic cardiologist in the midst of cutting edge research, I still get amazed at how fast technology is moving. Last week I attended my annual cardiac ultrasound society meeting and was inspired by how people are applying virtual reality and new types of artificial intelligence. To the right is a picture of me with my VR glasses on 'walking into' a 3D ultrasound image of the heart. Could the days of looking at images on screens be going away?
The other area that will revolutionize image interpretation (and probably the practice of medicine) is machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). We all experience when we use Google or Siri or Facebook or Amazon. Somehow, they know what we are looking for before we even finish typing. That is because it learns from our prior use of the app. In the same way, machines can learn form thousands (and sometimes millions) of interpretations of medical images and give probabilistic interpretations much, MUCH faster and often more accurately than a human. Scary! Below, I was honored to be a judge on a 'shark tank' like competition of three start up companies in the cardiac ultrasound (echo) world. All three had AI solutions for the future. Exciting times ahead and a huge opportunity for research.