Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers endless possibilities. This form of technology is gaining ground, especially in healthcare. Because when you can use AI to help people and make them better, then you are really talking about making a real impact. This is also the opinion of Marlous Nijman, a student at the Radboud University in Nijmegen with two clear interests: AI and healthcare. As a Nedap intern in the Healthcare business unit, she can combine these interests perfectly.
But what exactly is AI? “It comes down to collecting a lot of data, with which you can build an algorithm that can make the right decisions automatically, like a human being,” explains Marlous (25). She is studying for her master’s degree in AI and is now working on her graduation assignment. “I have already submitted my thesis. I just have to present it and then I hope to graduate,” she says. The master’s follows a bachelor’s program, which she completed in 2019. Also at Radboud University and also focused on AI. “AI has had my interest for some time. I read a nice article about it on the internet. About how AI can make the world more beautiful, more fun, easier and better. You can solve a lot of problems with it in all kinds of different domains.”
"I think it is very cool to be able to combine AI and healthcare at Nedap."
The fascination for healthcare was also present from an early age. “I started studying medicine at 18. It turned out to be too theoretical for me; you had to learn a lot by heart. What I like about AI is that you really make something and see the results immediately. Still, healthcare has always interested me. That is why I think it is very cool to be able to combine both fields at Nedap healthcare. A company that always thinks in terms of people and thus creates smart technologies that benefit people in the first place.
Marlous is now in the final phase of her graduation internship at Nedap but has already come on board as a trainee in 2021. Why Nedap? “I’m from Groenlo and had been fascinated by the company for years. I just did not know that they also focus on AI. Until one time someone from Nedap gave a guest lecture on AI at my university. It was very cool to hear about the great projects he was working on; projects that directly matched my own interests. So I felt an instant connection; I thought I had to do an internship here. I contacted them and asked if they had an internship for me, focused on AI. And they did! After a brief introduction, I could start working there.
Wound care app
During both internships, Marlous helped to further develop the wound care app. This is an app from Nedap that makes it possible to quickly and easily record all information relating to the care of wounds in one user-friendly app. Marlous is working on new functionality that allows the app to recognize wounds and see which tissue types they contain, based on AI. “This way, nurses can keep a close eye on how the wound is healing, without the need for an expert. That saves a lot of time.”
And how does such a thing come about? It starts with collecting a lot of data. In Marlous’ case photos of wounds. She presented these to wound nurses, who indicated on the photo where the wound is located and where the different tissue types are. Marlous: “If you have enough examples, you can build an algorithm that can recognize the wounds themselves. In this case, it was about 250 photos and that is still a relatively small data set. For the algorithms of Tesla, for example, you are talking about millions of examples.”
Marlous’ work will be continued by the team after the completion of her internship. It is being investigated whether this new functionality can be used in practice. “That is what I am most proud of,” says Marlous. “That I could help build something that will actually be used in healthcare. Although it will still take a few years to get there. I am very curious about the final result by then! And it’s very nice that as an intern you are really seen as a full-fledged colleague and get the confidence to work on something big like this. After my graduation, I hope to continue working here.
An internship at Nedap lets you see the world outside of college and ensures that you get to know yourself better. As an intern, you’re a full member of the team and you get the space to express your ideas and develop the skills that you find important. See our internships here.
Which way are you heading?
At Nedap, we’re not so keen on fixed routes: we prefer to challenge you to shape your own future.