PESHAWAR: The University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, is collaborating with the privately-owned Rehman Medical Institute of the capital city for faster and more accurate case investigations and better patient care by using artificial intelligence programmes.

NCAI principal investigator Dr Mohammad Salman Khan told Dawn that the latest technology was introduced for the first time in the province following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UET National Centre of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) and RMI to revolutionise healthcare.

He said the initiative was meant to support clinicians in decision-making regarding diagnosis and treatment.

“The move seeks to avoid incorrect diagnosis and enable medics to take timely decisions for the benefit of patients. During the five years term of the MoU, we will develop research programmes to help physicians get faster results of blood tests or radiological procedures,” he said.

Dr Salman said the use of artificial intelligence, which was getting worldwide recognition, helped diagnose diseases faster and treat patients in a better way.

Official insists use of artificial intelligence to revolutionise healthcare in province

He said the new techniques on which doctors would be trained so they could recognise the diseases in relatively shorter period of time and avoid complications.

“We will analyse the patient data in a joint effort with the RMI and will develop computer-based programmes to ensure that the people get quick test results as well as treatment,” he said.

The NCAI principal investigator, who did BS from the UET, MS from the USA, PhD from UK and postdoc from Chile, said they had agreed to host academic staff and students, hold trainings and faculty development programmes, explore opportunities for collaborating on funded research programmes, develop artificial intelligence-based healthcare projects, including clinical diagnostic software, telemedicine, medical robotics, and medical hardware and equipment.

RMI director (research) Dr Iftikhar Qayyum told Dawn that he didn’t expect any progress immediately but the initiative entailed tremendous benefits in the long run.

“Artificial intelligence is much better than regular doctors in diagnosis, management, and prognosis of disease.

“This is a basic but essential area, where it will be applied. Human beings cannot comprehend or analyse big data and see patterns or trends or even statistical analysis, but artificial intelligence can,” he said.

The director said the initiative would take disease management to new levels.

He said various biochips, monitors and assistive devices would later generate the people’s data 24/7 that was not possible otherwise.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2019