Monday, November 4, 2013

Computer-controlled anesthesia coming to a hospital near you?

Well, we're moving that direction.  As this article in MIT Technology Review explains, a recent study suggests that computers are capable of conducting medical processes typically administered by anesthesiologists.  From the article:
Brown’s group has been studying the anesthetized brain both to further scientific understanding of consciousness and to make anesthesia safer and more effective (see “The Mystery Behind Anesthesia”). The pattern of brain activity that doctors monitor to control sedation is well defined and can be recognized by a computer, says Brown. In fact, he says, the computer can be more accurate than the human eye at spotting how a patient’s activity pattern differs from the one that’s ideal for sedation, and it can make adjustments without under- or over-shooting the amount of drug required to maintain the sedated state. That could help ensure that patients aren’t given more anesthetic than they need.
There's more of interest in the article, which is available here. [ht: instapundit]