Hong Kong uses AI to bring Chinese traditional medicine to the US
Scientists from the Center of Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development Limited (CHM) in Hong Kong use AI to bring traditional Chinese medicine to the United States. Dr. Lin Chengyuan told Interesting Engineering that CHM will use AI to match the right TCM to patients’ conditions. Soon, Chinese medicine could improve healthcare in the US.
Artificial intelligence would eventually expand into every aspect of our daily lives, specifically our pharmacies. Soon, your local drugstore will use AI programs to make more accurate drug recommendations so that you can get appropriate care immediately. Also, perhaps you’d like to try traditional Chinese medicine, too.
This article will discuss how CHM will use artificial intelligence to bring TCM to the US. Later, I will discuss other innovations related to AI and healthcare.
What is the purpose of the Hong Kong AI?
Dr. Lin Chengyuan, CHM’s associate director of administration, told the Interesting Engineering news website about his organization’s plans. He said it will use traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to create new ways to share old medicines for illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.
“We are currently pursuing three track development pipelines, all focused on addressing gastrointestinal diseases,” Dr. Chengyuan said.
“The first track targets an alternative application for treating chronic constipation and associated distress in the United States. We submitted the application [for] US Food and Drug Administration FDA approval earlier this year,” he added.
The second involves 71 TPP, a traditional Chinese medicine also for chronic constipation. Also, the third track, 105205, is a customized formula to provide a lower dose for treating constipation-predominant IBS.
The Center of Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development Limited is also using Hong Kong AI to speed up the drug discovery process. “We asked our AI group [scientific team] to make new molecules.”
“The designers design theory of the single compound structures after [synthesizing] these compounds [and] compare the effects of animal and [other models]. We finally find the best.”
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Dr. Chengyuan believes that TCM-based medicines will become widely available. “You could soon be going to your local Chinese medical store to treat IBS colitis and other chronic gut diseases,” he said.
Another 2021 study from the National Library of Medicine elaborates on AI’s impact on traditional Chinese medicine. “AI will significantly improve the reliability and accuracy of diagnostics, thus increasing the use of effective therapeutic methods for patients,” it said.
“AI-assisted TCM diagnosis is mainly based on digital data collected by modern electronic instruments, which makes TCM diagnosis more quantitative, objective, and standardized. As a result, the diagnosis decisions made by different TCM doctors exhibit more consistency, accuracy, and reliability.”
What are the other AI healthcare projects?
Artificial intelligence is also changing how we train future doctors. For example, the University of California San Francisco has been training medical students in using surgery robots.
Alyssa Murillo was one of the students who learned how to use the Da Vinci Surgical System. It gave her an in-depth view inside a patient’s body through the robot’s video console.
“It was incredible. You have a full 3D view, which is different from any other minimally invasive surgery technique,” she said. Wired described the Da Vinci as an 8-foot-tall robot with four surgical arms.
It inserts “straws” into a surgical site and passes minuscule instruments in and out of them. Its arms hold a camera while its console enables a surgeon to move the robot like a “crane operator.”
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The medical robot mimics the surgeon’s every move while allowing for wrist control. As a result, doctors gain more maneuverability than in traditional laparoscopic surgery.
The Da Vinci System also dispels the assumption that medical robots will take over doctor’s jobs. It has a lead surgeon controlling its arms while another medical professional is a bedside assistant. The latter sets up, inserts, and removes instruments from the patient.
Other people have been using AI chatbots for mental health advice. They say it is a more affordable and accessible option than booking psychiatrist appointments. However, professionals warned that ChatGPT and other bots may provide harmful advice.
Researchers from the Center of Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development Limited plan to use AI to bring traditional Chinese to the United States. CHM will produce TCM tablets and use artificial intelligence to recommend the right ones to patients.
Dr. Chengyuan hopes TCM-based medicines will give millions with chronic gut disorders a chance of recovery. However, he did not specify when these will become available at the time of writing.
Learn more about how AI could help recommend traditional Chinese medicine at the National Library of Medicine. Also, check out the latest digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.