Until recently, computers have only been at the periphery of medicine, used primarily for research and record keeping. Today, the combination of computer science and medicine is leading to a variety of breakthroughs.
For example, just fifteen years ago, it cost $3B to sequence a human genome. Today, the cost is about a thousand dollars and continues to drop. Genetic sequencing will soon be a routine part of medicine.
Genetic sequencing generates massive amounts of data that can be analyzed using powerful data analysis software. One application is analyzing blood samples for early detection of cancer. Further genetic analysis can help determine the best course of treatment.
Another application of computers to medicine is in prosthetic limbs.
Soon we’ll have the technology to control prothetic limbs with just our thoughts using brain-to-machine interfaces.
Computers are also becoming increasingly effective at diagnosing diseases. An artificial intelligence system recently diagnosed a rare disease that human doctors failed to diagnose by finding hidden patterns in 20 million cancer records