If one patient, for example, who is 50 years old, has diabetes and an active lifestyle responded well to one kind of treatment, doctors might try that same treatment on someone with similar attributes.
Xing said the group is working on a smartphone app that could give advice on how users can live healthier lives and ward off some illnesses. He said the app may be ready in about a year.
Philip Lehman, an associate dean in computer science at Carnegie Mellon, said an app could use artificial intelligence to tell people when they should see a doctor, what type of doctor to consult and what they can do to stay healthy.
"I can ask my phone how to get from this street to that street," Lehman told Computerworld. "Imagine if you could ask your phone, 'what can I do to feel better or live longer?' "
Lehman and Xing said they hope to roll out prototypes of different products from apps to machine learning tools and services every year, with the hope that over the next five or six years, they'll have a dozen new products.
All of this, they hope, will reimagine health care.
"We are unlocking the potential of data to tackle some of our nation's biggest challenges, raising the quality and reducing the cost of health care," said UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff, in a statement.
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