Today’s Solutions: May 28, 2024

Researchers are using motion capture artificial intelligence technology that brings characters to life in films like Avatar to track the onset of diseases that affect movement, according to a recent BBC article.

The new system uses artificial intelligence to analyze body movements and diagnose disorders twice as quickly as the best doctors.

Dr. Valeria Ricotti, a member of the team working on the new breakthrough, told BBC News that she was “completely blown away by the results”.

“The impact on diagnosis and developing new drugs for a wide range of diseases could be absolutely massive.”

A 10-year-old system with proven results

The technology, which has been in development for ten years, was already evaluated in two different studies on individuals with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Professor Aldo Faisal of Imperial College London, one of the experts who came up with the idea, said it has numerous advantages over traditional techniques of diagnosis.

“Our new approach detects subtle movements that humans can’t pick up on,” he explained. “It has the capability to transform clinical trials as well as improve diagnosis and monitoring for patients.”

It also offers the ability to expedite and reduce the cost of medication studies.

“We will be able to trial more drugs with less patients at a lower cost,” remarked Professor Paola Giunti, Head of University College London’s Ataxia Centre.

”This is going to attract the pharmaceutical industry to invest in rare diseases,” added Professor Richard Festenstein from the Medical Research Council’s London Institute of Medical Sciences who aided in developing the new tech.

“The main beneficiary from our research is going to be patients because the technology is going to be able to come up with new treatments much more quickly.’’

The system’s key advantage is its advanced, quick prognostic skills.

A team at Imperial College tested it on FA patients and discovered that it could forecast disease progression over a twelve-month period in less than half the time it would ordinarily take an industry expert.

Another team at Great Ormond Street Hospital tested it on 21 boys with DMD and discovered that it could anticipate how their movement will be affected six months later far more accurately than a doctor.

Early detection: critical for disease surveillance

At the moment, there is no cure for either FA or DMD, and early detection is critical for disease monitoring. FA affects one out of every 50,000 adults, but DMD affects 20,000 children worldwide each year.

By enabling early detection, the new technology can give new hope to patients suffering from debilitating hereditary disorders with no widely available treatments. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the prospects patients have of effectively controlling their diseases.

James Cameron directed, wrote, co-produced, and co-edited the 2009 science fiction picture Avatar.

A sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, was released in 2022.

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