Google's quest to know when you're going to die

It's the product of a health research unit called "Medical Brain"

A hospital monitor.

Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is an AI that can predict patients' outcomes.

"Google is training machines to predict when a patient will die," said Mark Bergen at Bloomberg. Medical engineers with the company's health research unit — sometimes referred to as Medical Brain — have created an AI algorithm that can "forecast a host of patient outcomes, including how long people may stay in hospitals, their odds of readmission, and chances they will soon die." Google's tool can "sift through data previously out of reach," such as doctors' notes in PDFs or scrawled on old charts, and produce predictions "far faster and more accurately than existing techniques."

(Image credit: Newscom)

Health-care providers "have been trying for years to better use stockpiles of electronic health records and other patient data" to inform treatments and decisions. Medical Brain has also created AI systems for radiology, ophthalmology, and cardiology, and is considering licensing them or selling them via its cloud-computing division.

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