One of the challenges in trying to encourage lawyers to rely more on technology is that they find it hard to believe that a machine can supplant their hard-won knowledge and skill. In fact, of course, the technology used in electronic discovery is not a replacement for that skill but an adjunct to it. It achieves this in two broad ways – by performing repeatable tasks quickly and consistently and by drawing provisional conclusions which the lawyers can then check.
This is a kind of artificial intelligence, or AI, and similar applications are in use, and have been for some time, in a wide range of industries and activities which are of no less significance than compliance with eDiscovery obligations. One of these is healthcare.
UBIC made its name as a provider of litigation support software and big data analysis services and it has been working to apply its skills to a variety of requirements. The most recent of these is in the field of healthcare. UBIC has been conducting joint research with the NTT medical centre in Tokyo on a project whose purpose is to assess the risk that patients will fall over. Each patient’s risk is calculated using an assessment tool which takes account of symptoms and other factors. Like eDiscovery, it requires a mixture of objective fact, computing tools and human input, the latter in the form of the skills of experienced staff.
This has obvious benefits for patients. It has benefits also for the hospital because the patient who falls over spends more time in hospital as a result.
This is interesting stuff. There is a press release about it here.