Dr. Toby Cosgrove: AI is essential for healthcare

Technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are necessary tools for hospitals to stay up to date with advancements in medicine, former Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD, told Fortune.

"When the Cleveland Clinic was formed almost 100 years ago, the total amount of knowledge in healthcare doubled every 150 years," Dr. Cosgrove told Fortune in March. "Now, it's doubling every 73 days. There are now 800,000 journal articles written every year. Every human genome has 3 billion data points in it. How is anybody going keep track of that and be able to use it without help from artificial intelligence, machine learning? So I think there's a tremendous necessity and opportunity associated with digital health."

Using technologies like pacemakers to treat neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and depression show the most promise, Dr. Cosgrove said. He also touted Cleveland Clinic's use of Microsoft's HoloLens, an augmented reality headset, for training surgeons.

"We can teach anatomy without a cadaver," Dr. Cosgrove said. "I'm walking around a heart and I have a view I've never had in 40 years as a heart surgeon. The important thing is, this allows the teaching to scale."

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