HealthFebruary 28, 2023

What is the role of artificial intelligence in inflammatory bowel disease?

Introduced in 1950, the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) came to life just five years later and has continued to change the world of medicine ever since. With many potential applications and considerations to take into account, AI is making significant strides in the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In his 38-minute AudioDigest lecture entitled “Artificial Intelligence in Inflammatory Bowel Disease,” Jacob Kurowski, MD, MS takes a closer look at AI and its role in IBD—including its clinical use, functions, assessment, imaging, and more.

Dr. Kurowski serves as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Medical Director of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Diseases at Cleveland Clinic Children’s in Cleveland, OH. This lecture was recorded at the Kaplan Foundation Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symposium, held on May 18, 2022 and presented by Cleveland Clinic.

What is artificial intelligence?

While the implementation of artificial intelligence is relatively new, the concept of AI has been around for quite some time. Defined as “any thinking done by a nonhuman source, i.e. a machine,” AI was initially introduced as an idea by the scientific community in 1950. In 1955, a program to mimic human problem-solving was designed—and the following year, the term artificial intelligence was officially coined.

There’s a much simpler, more direct way to define AI today, insists Dr. Kurowski.

“Today, artificial intelligence to you or I should really mean decision-making,” explains Dr. Kurowski. “How can we take data that we see on a day-to-day basis and translate it into something that is much more usable under a pattern that is not recognizable to the human eye under regular circumstances? That is outside the scope of the typical statistical analysis?”

What is machine learning?

Dr. Kurowski also discusses machine learning (or ML), which is defined more specifically as a type of AI that utilizes an algorithm. On an even more granular level, he addresses deep learning (DL), a particular type of machine learning that recognizes patterns as they unfold within data samples and sets.

“Machine learning… is more conventional artificial intelligence,” explains Dr. Kurowski. “With deep learning, patterns in the data are divided into either supervised learning or unsupervised learning or self-supervised learning. The unsupervised learning is really where the forefront of AI is coming from.”

AI, MI, and DL in IBD

When it comes to IBD and GI-related realms, explains Dr. Kurowski, Artificial Intelligence is currently applied in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) activity and adenoma detection.

“The two big areas in GI that artificial intelligence has been applied (are) looking at IBD disease activity and adenoma detection,” says Dr. Kurowski. “In IBD disease activity, the endoscopy scoring is not routinely used in practice and there’s a lot of high inter-user and intra-user observer variability. In adenomas, any missed adenoma is a missed cancer. Anytime we can increase the detection of small adenomas is going to be a very promising clinical utility.

“To summarize AI in endoscopy, we can use it to start to grade disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease, which is going to reduce the variability. This is going to be very useful if you can then use that automated grading system and incorporate it into a piece of data into a more robust prediction model.”

What’s on the horizon with medical AI?

Dr. Kurowski also addresses and forecasts what the future may hold regarding the impactful incorporation of AI in the medical field. As he notes, artificial intelligence can remove variability and bias, identify therapeutic targets, preselect patients for clinical trials, and recognize patterns of disease before they present clinically. This obviously all bodes well for the future of AI in healthcare.

“AI in radiology is coming sooner rather than later,” proclaims Dr. Kurowski. “The software is going to be designed to analyze supervised and unsupervised data. It is non-invasive, so it offers a lot more utility. You can do it more frequently than you might be able to do a colonoscopy—and the accuracy continues to increase as the technology improves.”

Learn more about the future of AI in healthcare

Dr. Jacob Kurowski’s full lecture “Artificial Intelligence in Inflammatory Bowel Disease” is available for AudioDigest members. Additional related CME/CE-accredited content is available anytime, anywhere and includes:

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