Andrew Huberman Lab Podcast: How AI Is Changing Healthcare

Andrew Huberman sat down with two special guests on a recent episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast, where they discussed the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on healthcare and how AI, with the help of specialized scientists, engineers, and medical professionals, could help advance healthcare and possibly cure all diseases within a century.

Key takeaways:

Who is Andrew Huberman and who were his guests?

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Andrew Huberman is a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. On the recent podcast episode, “Curing All Human Diseases & the Future of Health & Technology,” he spoke with special guests, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, M.D., co-founder and co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) about advancements in technology and medicine.

What is the goal of AI technology in healthcare?

AI is still in the early stages of development; however, scientists, engineers, and medical professionals are currently utilizing the technology to develop ways to treat and even cure many different human diseases. The main goal of using AI is to cure all human diseases by the end of this century by funding projects and technologies in biology, engineering, and artificial intelligence (AI).

We fund great scientists. We build tools and software to help scientists move their research along

Chan Zuckerberg

Chan also said “we've built what we call Biohub Institute, where teams can take on grand challenges to do work that wouldn't be possible in a single lab or within a single discipline.”

How will AI help medical professionals?

Dr. Huberman and his guests discussed how AI can support physicians and medical professionals in a clinical setting and allow doctors to better communicate with their patients, among other factors.

  • Diagnostic support. AI will be able to help medical professionals diagnose and treat diseases earlier than ever before by using AI technology.
  • Predicting diseases. AI will be able to analyze human beings and predict their risk factors for disease.
  • Personalized treatments. AI can help doctors personalize treatment plans for individual patients by recommending medication changes based on symptoms.
  • Remote monitoring. With AI at home, doctors and pharmacists can monitor their patient’s symptoms and vitals without seeing them in person.
  • Medication discovery and development. AI can help speed up the process of discovering treatment options based on users and data that would take much longer to analyze if done by a human.
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How is AI currently being used in healthcare?

At this time, a Chicago-based Biohub is collaborating with the University of Illinois to focus on engineering tissue and understanding cell behavior, and another Biohub in New York is focusing on cellular endoscopy and learning how to understand better immune cell function, including ovarian and pancreatic cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.

The scientists and engineers currently working with AI technology hope to engineer cells that can navigate the human body and then report back on healthy or damaged tissue. This project, says Zuckerberg, will take approximately 10 to 15 years to develop and could be the key to creating a system that could detect all diseases in the human body.

We're going into the human body with these cells, and we’re able to target them to examine certain things

Chan Zuckerberg

“You can engineer an immune cell to go in your body and look inside your coronary arteries and say, are these arteries healthy, or are there plaques? and the cell can then record that information and report it back out.”

Currently, researchers and scientists are also creating detailed atlases of how the cells in the human body work, including how they interpret our DNA and how this affects their behavior. Using this data, scientists hope to create a better understanding of how to improve and advance medical science.

How AI is speeding up science

Scientists and engineers are using AI technology by applying it to large model transformers to understand cell patterns that humans wouldn’t have the capacity to do. These machines can look at cell behavior and predict and analyze the information to help humans understand disease processes. CZI is currently using this type of technology to solve impossible problems, such as discovering the relationship between the gut-brain axis and looking at how other diseases affect the body.

What are the challenges of using AI in healthcare?

There are several challenges in using AI technology to advance healthcare. Although scientists and engineers hope that AI can be used to treat and cure disease, it can also be challenging.

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  • Privacy and security. Although AI is a valuable tool, some scientists are concerned about the lack of privacy or personal security patients would have with this model.
  • No clear standards of practice. Because AI is so new, there are currently no rules and regulations like there are with human practice. This could take time to develop.
  • Data quality. AI technology is known to 'hallucinate' and sometimes give wrong information to users; in this case, it’s hard to tell if the data provided to the users is accurate.

Will AI be able to cure all diseases?

Scientists and engineers are optimistic regarding the future of AI technology and curing all diseases. With advancements in technology and funding from different companies across the U.S., scientists and engineers can investigate and understand diseases as they have never been able to do before. With the use of AI technology, it allows them to work more quickly and, therefore, someday, be able to cure diseases in humans.

During this informative podcast episode, Dr. Huberman discussed everything from how AI is changing healthcare to whether there is a possibility to use AI to cure diseases in the future. Specialists in the fields of science and engineering are helping to advance understanding of diseases and disease processes in order to diagnose, predict, and personalize healthcare treatment for patients and ultimately provide better access to care to everyone. AI still has some obstacles, such as privacy and security and the quality of the data being provided, but, with the right professionals working to enhance AI, patients should expect great things from AI in the future of healthcare.

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