Machine Learning Stroke Identification with David Golan

When a patient comes into the hospital with stroke symptoms, the hospital will give that patient a CAT scan, a 3-dimensional imaging of the patient’s brain. The CAT scan needs to be examined by a radiologist, and the radiologist will decide whether to refer the patient to an interventionist–a surgeon who can perform an operation to lower the risk of long-term damage to the patient’s brain function.

After getting the CAT scan, the patient might wait for hours before a radiologist has a chance to look at the scan. In that period of time, the patient’s brain function might be rapidly degrading. To speed up this workflow, a company called Viz.ai built a machine learning model that can recognize whether a patient is at high risk of stroke consequences or not.

Many people have predicted that radiologists will be automated away by machine learning in the coming years. This episode presents a much more realistic perspective: first of all, we don’t have nearly enough radiologists, so if we can create automated radiologists that would be a very good thing; second of all, even in this workflow with a cutting-edge machine learning radiologist, you still need the human radiologist in the loop.

David Golan is the CTO at Viz.ai, and in today’s show he explains why he is working on a system for automated stroke identification, and the engineering challenges in building that system.

Transcript

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