AI could be the key to catching Type 1 diabetes much earlier

Will AI lead to a quicker diagnosis of diabetes, a condition often called the silent killer? IBM researchers are hoping so. They recently announced an AI-powered screening tool that could potentially identify Type 1 diabetes antibodies in people’s blood.

For the millions of people who live with Type 1 diabetes globally, everyday reality involves significant self monitoring. Without that supervision, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, which is used to move energy-providing blood sugar to the body’s cells. From daily insulin injections to ensuring that blood glucose levels are in check with nutrition and exercise plans, it’s a condition that requires patients to stay highly vigilant about their health.

About 1.25 million people have Type 1 diabetes in the United States alone, with an estimated 40,000 new diagnoses each year, according to the American Diabetes Association. Given this, you might be surprised that no standardized screening process for the condition exists to catch it early on. Doctors generally test based on family history and other known risk factors, meaning Type 1 diabetes can appear under the radar. This can lead to sudden trips to the ER and surprise diagnoses, making the development of better screening tests a major life-saving priority for doctors.

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