Health Life

for patients, promise and challenges ahead

(HealthDay)—Streaks of color swirl through a pulsing, black-and-white image of a patient’s heart. They represent blood, and they’re color-coded based on speed: turquoise and green for the fastest flow, yellow and red for the slowest.

This , which can be rotated and viewed from any angle, allows doctors to spot problems like a leaky heart valve or a failing surgical repair with unprecedented speed. And (AI) imaging technology made it possible.

“It’s quite simple, it’s like a ,” said Dr. Albert Hsiao, an associate professor of radiology at the University of California, San Diego, who developed the technology while a medical resident at Stanford University.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to support this simplicity. Each 10-minute scan produces 2 to 10 gigabytes of data. To handle such huge, complicated data sets, Hsiao and his colleagues at Arterys, the company he helped found in 2012 to develop the technology, decided to build the infrastructure on the internet, where it can be accessed by servers from other researchers.

And now, investigators around the world are using this cloud-based infrastructure to share and test medical AI imaging models in the Arterys Marketplace. “We’ve made it almost as easy to get medical AI online as to upload a YouTube video,” said Arterys product strategy manager Christian Ulstrup.

Arterys decided to open up its $50 million platform to all comers—a move that raised eyebrows in the competitive world of and medicine—because the company realized that the full potential of the technology to transform medicine couldn’t be realized without collaboration from others, Ulstrup explained.

“There are all these brilliant researchers, startup founders and individual developers who are working with machine learning models with the data they find online,” Ulstrup explained. “The thing that’s really heartbreaking

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Asthma medicine may not be one size fits all

The symptoms are all too familiar for parents of kids with asthma: coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness.

About 6 million kids in the U.S. have asthma, which may make it hard for them to breathe. Asthma is especially common in African American children. 

The standard treatment for persistent asthma is a low-dose inhaled corticosteroid, and if this does not fully control the symptoms, a long-acting bronchodilator may be added.

However, some studies suggest that African Americans may respond differently to medications for asthma.

Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) wanted to find out if bronchodilators would provide similar help to African Americans with asthma or if increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroid would be better.

About 6 million kids in the U.S. have asthma, which may make it hard for them to breathe.

NIH recently helped fund two clinical trials, one with African American children and one with African American adolescents and adults.  The results of the study with African American adolescents and adults were similar to those of past studies. More people had improved asthma symptoms with the addition of the bronchodilator than a higher dose of steroids.

The results of the study with African American children were different, though. 

About half of the children in the study had improved asthma control with the bronchodilator. The other half did better with the higher dose of steroids alone. Researchers didn’t find a link between percentage of African ancestry and response to treatment, so it’s unclear why the children responded differently.

More research needs to be done, but these early findings suggest that if African American children do not respond to the first treatment, there may be an equal chance that the alternate treatment could work better.