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Using artificial intelligence to advance brain injury recovery: A conversation with The Learning Corp’s Veera Anantha, Ph.D.

The Learning Corp | Apr 22, 2019 | Traumatic brain injury

While artificial intelligence (AI) often brings to mind thoughts of conscious robots, the reality is that AI is already a part of our daily lives. Netflix makes recommendations based on movies you’ve watched, Amazon shows you new products based on your purchasing preferences, and Google Maps tells you the fastest way to get home. These are small efficiencies created by AI that help organize our day, but what happens as AI moves into the healthcare space, and how can we make sure it’s being used responsibly?

We sat down with The Learning Corp co-founder and president, Veera Anantha, Ph.D., to discuss the role of AI in healthcare, and how data can be used reliably to impact patients’ lives in a positive way.

Understanding artificial intelligence in healthcare

brain injury and AI

The NeuroPerformance Engine™

Today, AI has the potential to help us make sense of the overwhelming amount of health data now available, and act as a springboard to new learnings and better brain rehabilitation outcomes. But when it comes to AI making care decisions on behalf of patients, the road ahead is still being paved.

Modern AI systems are becoming so advanced they’re now able to mimic the human thought process. “And therein lies a potential problem,” Veera says. “As humans, we have the ability to explain the thought process behind our decisions, whereas many AI systems don’t always have the documentation to explain why every decision was made.”

“The concept of being responsible and being able to truly understand decisions made by AI with an audit trail is extremely important in health care.”

Veera maintains that conclusions can only be trusted if we can confidently understand how they were reached. “Which is why we built the NeuroPerformance Engine the way we did – to be accountable and explainable,” he says.

What is the The Learning Corp’s NeuroPerformance Engine™ and how does it help improve patient outcomes?

The NeuroPerformance Engine is the AI core that drives the products created by The Learning Corp, like Constant Therapy. It analyzes real-world data generated from user interactions with the product, and from that data delivers – and consistently adjusts – customized experiences for each user.

The NeuroPerformance Engine emphasizes several key areas, Veera says. “Among the many factors, it analyzes each patient’s usage history with the product, compares that to the therapy progression of other patients like them, while also prioritizing what clinicians are assigning to their patients.” The NeuroPerformance Engine continuously captures user performance to understand how to accurately personalize tasks and improve therapy programs for both individuals and groups, and the data collected is always de-identified and protected, as outlined in our privacy policy here.

And while the design of the AI system is complex, the ethos behind it is simple. “We wanted to build an AI system that would be accountable and explainable, that would respect patients’ privacy, and that would make the most intelligent decisions with the information available.” It’s an ongoing process, he says, which is why there’s a team dedicated to documenting and evaluating the decisions made by the NeuroPerformance Engine.

Influencing the future of brain rehabilitation with responsible AI

The Learning Corp was founded on the idea that technology can help improve access to brain rehabilitation therapy, reduce the cost of delivering it, and ultimately increase the efficacy of therapy for patients. With Constant Therapy, there’s an opportunity to do even more. Every new task completed delivers new learnings that help fine tune the sequence of therapies and potentially inform the current science and standard of care for stroke and brain injury recovery.

“And because the way we collect data follows best practices, we can publish and share what we learn about effective therapy approaches with clinicians, neurologists, and other scientists.”

“I wanted to really make a difference by using technology,” Veera says. “At the Learning Corp, I think we can materially change the way healthcare works.”

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