UCF researchers studying AI to help with Telehealth

Could eye tracking and reading facial expressions be the future of virtual doctor appointments? Researcher and University of Central Florida professor Roger Azevedo thinks so. 

He is leading a new project at UCF, set to start in January, to better study how artificial intelligence (AI) can help with Telehealth, an industry that’s grown exponentially especially since the pandemic started. 

"This grant is really trying to push the boundaries of AI and Telehealth," he explains. "Let’s integrate the eyes, the voice, the physiology, and the motion, and if we can integrate all that data, would that basically allow us to better understand medical errors and diagnostic reasoning?" asked Azevedo.

If the AI tracks a doctor’s eye while examining a patient, for example, it could point out something the doctor may have overlooked. 

"The system could be intelligent enough to basically say ‘remember? She said something about her right arm and you did not look at her right arm. Make sure to examine the right arm or even ask about it.’"

The AI can also read emotions like joy, fear, and confusion, helping doctors better understand how patients are feeling. 

The ultimate goal is to get the AI technology to the point where you can have a Telehealth appointment with your doctor on your phone and use some sort of wearable technology to get more information to your doctor about your health.

"Would we use haptic gloves that as a physician, I could basically come across and basically be able to palpate for nodules?" asked Azevedo. 

Remote blood pressure checks and ultrasounds are on the table too. The possibilities are endless, and the technology is already here. Now it’s just a matter of applying it.

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