How Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Your Lifespan

Computers have been a vital part of the medical profession for years, without it, digital medicine wouldn't be the force that it is today.

But can a computer actually predict a patient's lifespan? Can it tell you what medical issues you're going to have before they happen?

According to research from the University of Adelaide -- what some deem to be a mere science fiction idea -- is getting closer to reality.

Researchers from the university along with various international and Australian partners have used artificial intelligence in the analysis of 48 patients' chests, in an attempt to predict their life span.

48 people's chests were scanned by researchers.  IMAGE: AAP

This study is the first of its kind to use artificial intelligence to analyse medical imagery.

The results were impressive, with 69% accuracy, the AI was able to predict the death of the patients involved within five years. The numbers are similar to "manual" diagnoses from doctors.

The lead author behind the project, Dr Luke Oakden Rayner, a radiologist and PhD student at the University of Adelaide, says the technology could be vital in providing individualised treatment for patients.

The research will be expanded to tens of thousands of patients: Photo Credit: AAP

"Predicting the future of a patient is useful because it may enable doctors to tailor treatments to the individual," he said.

The technology had the most success when scanning patients who had severe chronic diseases including emphysema and congestive heart failure.

The next stage of the research will see tens of thousands of images analysed through the technology.  They hope this will assist them in expanding the technique to predict other medical conditions such as heart attacks.

READ MORE: Robots Could Be Key To Managing Australians Ageing Population

Featured Image: Getty Images

Contact the author mgay@networkten.com.au