Zhenan Bao, a Stanford chemical engineer, has been working for decades to develop an artificial skin that can mimic the organ’s ability to stretch, repair itself and function as a sensory network. Her latest milestone with other researchers is the construction of an artificial nerve circuit that imitates human reflexes and ability to sense touch.
A computer program that assists doctors in diagnosing strokes garnered approval from the U.S. FDA earlier this year. Another that helps doctors diagnose broken wrists in X-ray images won FDA approval on May 24. One particularly intriguing line of research seeks to train computers to diagnose one of the deadliest of all malignancies, pancreatic cancer, when the disease is still readily treatable.
"The problem we were trying to resolve was getting a hold of our patients in an expedient manner without having to do redundant work," Diego Galvez-Ramirez, director of patient support services at Riverside Medical Clinic, said. "We wanted to give time back to our staff. A big frustration was not having enough time for staff to accomplish their duties."