Artificial intelligence (AI) has been introduced into our everyday lives through many channels like Siri, Alexa, Facebook, and Netflix. It is also making huge strides for the medical field, allowing for more efficient and accurate procedures and diagnoses.

How it works: AI mimics human cognitive function through a series of algorithms. Computers use this data to improve performance in a task without explicit instruction.

What this means: When trained by an expert, AI has the power to document procedures and detect clinically relevant findings in real time with increased accuracy, allowing doctors to spend less time at the computer typing reports and more time with patients.

How accurate is AI?: Researchers from Stanford trained AI technology on 129,450 skin lesion images consisting of 2,032 different diseases. Results showed the technology performed on par against 21 board-certified dermatologists in distinguishing keratinocyte carcinomas from benign seborrheic keratosis and malignant melanomas from benign nevi.

AI in gastro action: Colon polyp detection has been one of the primary areas of AI interest in gastroenterology. Physicians in California currently use AI for more accurate colonoscopies, identifying 20 percent more polyps than traditional colonoscopies. AI technology can analyze 98 images/second and immediately alert physicians of polyps or tissue that could turn into a polyp. The technology has helped physicians identify polyps they might have missed otherwise. Higher adenoma detection rates during a colonoscopy more effectively protect patients from subsequent risk of colonic cancer.

The future: The value of artificial intelligence goes beyond improved accuracy and speed of diagnostic testing. It frees up time for doctors to form stronger bonds with patients. Moving forward, new artificial intelligence will continue to flow into gastroenterology practices to create better experiences for both doctors and patients.