Humans can only detect a narrow range of sound, but the sounds that AI can detect and analyse are only limited by the sensors they use, now sound is being used to diagnose health conditions in new ways.


Emergency dispatchers have a tough job, trying to handle as many calls as they can as quickly as they can, while still making sure they’re asking the right kinds of questions that could help end up saving someone’s life, and in the UK, in order to tackle the challenge, the National Health Service (NHS) recently announced they were rolling out a bot to help handle calls. Now though many more dispatchers could start getting additional support from another source, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) called Corti, an AI agent that dispatchers in Copenhagen first started trialling in 2016. Unlike other AI’s what makes Corti unique is the fact that it can listen in on calls, understand words and sounds, and even recognise, just from verbal cues, the “sound” of heart attacks and other medical conditions, a technique that researchers in the USA have also been pursing with some success. Corti then prompts the emergency professional with the right questions to get a more accurate diagnosis.


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Corti helps out in other more obvious ways too, such as reminding to ask whoever’s on the phone for the address of the incident and ensuring the ambulance en route is headed to the right place, but that said much of its value lies in helping dispatchers refine their diagnosis by detecting and analysing background clues.


How Corti works


In one recent incident, for example, a dispatcher had concluded a man who’d fallen off the roof had broken his back after Corti heard a faint rattling, which fit the sound pattern of a patient attempting to breathe despite a stopped heart. At the time  Corti was still in training mode though so it couldn’t give recommendations to the dispatcher directly, but nevertheless in the future it could present them with a proper sequence of instructions for them to read out to callers.


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Corti was created by a Dutch startup of the same name, Corti Labs, who are now developing the technology further, and like other machine learning platforms Corti refines its diagnosing abilities as it ingests more information, and the company has announced that they’ll soon be ready to take it to the US.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Recognised for the past five years as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an author, entrepreneur international speaker who helps investors, multi-nationals, regulators and sovereign governments around the world envision, build and lead the future. Today, asides from being a member of Centrica's prestigious Technology and Innovation Committee and mentoring XPrize teams, Matthew's accomplishments, among others, include playing the lead role in helping the world's largest smartphone manufacturers ideate the next five generations of mobile devices, and what comes beyond, and helping the world's largest high tech semiconductor manufacturers envision the next twenty years of intelligent machines. Matthew's clients include Accenture, Bain & Co, Bank of America, Blackrock, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consulting Group, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Du Pont, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HPE, Huawei, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey & Co, Monsanto, PWC, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, SAP, Samsung, Schroeder's, Sequoia Capital, Sopra Steria, UBS, the UK's HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.

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