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What We're Reading: Google Invests in Healthcare AI; Transgender Protections at Risk; Schizophrenia Genes Identified

AJMC Staff
Google and its sister companies are making substantial investments towards artificial intelligence in healthcare;  the Trump administration seeks to remove protections for transgender individuals that allow equal access to healthcare; researchers identified 104 high-risk schizophrenia genes.

Google Makes a Huge Investment in Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare

Google and its sister companies have made a substantial investment, predicted by analysts to be billions of dollars, towards artificial intelligence in the healthcare field, NPR reported. Verily, which was already supplied a billion dollars in funding earlier this year, stands out as a key player; it is currently working on software that can diagnose diabetic retinopathy, tools to monitor blood sugar in diabetic patients, and surgical robots that learn from each operation. Google has an advantage over other companies as it has already collected and compiled data from billions of users.

Trump Administration Looks to Strike Down Protections for Transgender People

HHS is expected to propose a rule that would facilitate the option for physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender patients as well as women who have had abortions, according to The Hill. The new health regulations could be published as early as next week. The rule is expected to weaken or remove an anti-discrimination provision established in the Affordable Care Act that protected individuals from being denied coverage related to transgender status. Advocates are concerned that the proposal could reverse the progress made in ensuring that transgender patients receive equal access to care.

Researchers Identify High-Risk Genes for Schizophrenia

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute have identified 104 high-risk genes for schizophrenia, ScienceDaily reported. The discovery supports the idea that schizophrenia is a developmental disease that can potentially be diagnosed and treated before symptoms arise. Future research could be directed towards repurposing current drugs in an effort to improve treatment of the disorder or toward identification of cell types in the brain that are active along the development pathway.

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