Science & Technology



The computer will see you now: Artificial Intelligence usage grows at Central Florida hospitals

Caroline Catherman, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Science & Technology News

“AI is only as good as the information and data it has,” Mayhew said. “We have to be aware of potential bias in how that data is being developed and analyzed through AI. That’s where human beings and judgment and critical decision making has to remain at the forefront.”

These AI technologies still make mistakes. A 2023 study of more than 11,000 patients found that AI sepsis technology was associated with a 44% reduction in sepsis deaths. But a February study from the University of Michigan analyzed the same AI sepsis technology used on more than 77,000 patients and found it only predicted sepsis in half the patients who eventually contracted it and couldn’t be reliably counted on to diagnose sepsis faster than medical professionals.

A 2023 study by Stanford researchers tested whether doctors could rely on plugging in patient clinical scenarios to Chat GPT-4 and asking the technology to give advice. The researchers found that the software answered correctly only 41% of the time. About 6% of the time, the answer included a fake citation, a phenomenon dubbed “hallucinating” that creators haven’t yet been able to fix.

Orlando connections

AI is not only being used in Central Florida, it’s being invented here.

Dr. Shyam Varadarajulu, Orlando Health’s Digestive Health Institute president, is working on a prototype of AI tech to help doctors diagnosis pancreatic cancer. It is projected to kill more than 50,000 Americans this year and is set to become America’s second-deadliest by 2030, according to the American Cancer Society.


The biggest issue is timely diagnosis: Only about 20% of people are diagnosed when the cancer is still operable. Most people don’t have symptoms and don’t get tested until it’s too late. For those who are lucky enough to receive early testing, pancreatic tumors are tiny and easy to miss in their early stages, particularly for less experienced doctors.

Varadarajulu, in collaboration with experts from across the globe, has built AI-guided endoscopic ultrasound technology. It’s a computer program that will analyze images from endoscopic ultrasounds and highlight potentially abnormal areas of the pancreas for doctors to look closely at.

His technology is still in its early stages and will need to be trained on millions of images, but eventually, Varadarajulu hopes to test it in a clinical trial and submit it for FDA approval.

“Our job is to pioneer artificial intelligence so that the person doing this procedure in any part of the United States will have an outcome comparable to us,” he said.


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