IBM Research: AI to revolutionize mental healthcare in next 5 years

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IBM Research has released its annual "IBM 5 in 5" report, which forecasts five scientific innovations the software company says will change the way people live within the next five years.

This year's predictions include:

  • Hyperimaging and artificial intelligence taking on a larger role in everyday imaging;
  • Machine learning and Internet of Things data providing insight into earth science research;
  • Smart sensors helping researchers to better monitor environmental changes.

In the healthcare sector, IBM Research hypothesizes that "lab-on-a-chip" technology will allow patients to use handheld devices to regularly measure biomarkers in their bodily fluids. At present, the processes to analyze a complex disease are completed in a biochemistry lab; however, by developing chip technology for this analysis, patients will be able to receive early diagnosis for diseases like cancer, even before symptoms arise.

IBM Research's fifth prediction revolves around AI taking on a preventative function in mental healthcare, allowing physicians to predict and monitor brain disorders before these symptoms arise. Cognitive computing systems will be able to identify early-stage developmental disorders, mental illnesses and degenerative neurological diseases based on users' speech and writing patterns, according to the report.

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