Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still a layered subject that’s both exciting and scary to say the least. Given the new information being discovered each day, people are still nervous when it comes to letting AI handle their personal data (fears of security, privacy issues etc.). But they are comfortable with doctors and physicians using AI in healthcare for providing accurate and precise medical treatments and information.
This implies a growing acceptance of the impersonal AI in healthcare, where the physical and personal contact between the caregivers and patients is high. The myriad and increasingly mainstream applications of AI in healthcare are propelling this strong and growing acceptance.
Such openness to AI is vital for healthcare companies, as it empowers the patients and caregivers to gain valuable insights from the data collected and act on them accordingly. AI can analyze loads of medical data and identify patterns to detect any deviations in the individual patient’s behavior and suggest treatment plans / changes. It can sort through assist doctors to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and help in correct treatment.
This AI aided healthcare is not only beneficial to the patients, but also healthcare companies can save time and money performing basic, non-patient care activities (like writing chart notes and prescriptions, etc.) so that caregivers have more time to spend with people.
Research shows that amongst the largest sources of savings are robot-assisted surgery ($40 billion in savings), virtual nursing assistants ($20 billion) and administrative workflow assistance ($18 billion).
The bridge between AI and healthcare can only function and give value if the interconnection is smooth and inter-operable. That’s because AI is highly data driven requiring a secure, instant, and low latency connectivity among the multitude data sources between the users and cloud applications.
Here are eight ways that highlight the technologies and areas of the healthcare industry that are most likely to see a major impact from artificial intelligence.
• Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) backed by artificial intelligence can help restore the patients’ fundamental experiences of speech, movement and meaningful interaction with people and their environments, lost due to neurological diseases and trauma to the nervous system. BCI could drastically improve quality of life for patients with ALS, strokes, or locked-in syndrome, as well as the 500,000 people worldwide who experience spinal cord injuries every year.
• Artificial intelligence will enable the next generation of radiology tools that are accurate and detailed enough to replace the need for tissue samples in some cases. AI is helping to enable “virtual biopsies” and advance the innovative field of radiomics, which focuses on harnessing image-based algorithms to characterize the phenotypes and genetic properties of tumors.
• AI could help mitigate the shortages of trained healthcare providers, including ultrasound technicians and radiologists which can significantly limit access to life-saving care in developing nations around the world. This severe deficit of qualified clinical staff can be overcome by AI taking over some of the diagnostic duties typically allocated to humans.
• Electronic Health Records (EHR) have played an instrumental role in the healthcare industry’s journey towards digitalization, but this has brought along with cognitive overload, endless documentation, and user burnout. EHR developers are now using AI to create more intuitive interfaces and automate some of the routine processes that consume so much of a user’s time like clinical documentation, order entry, and sorting through their inbox mail.
• Smart devices using artificial intelligence to enhance the ability to identify patient deterioration or sense the development of complications can significantly improve outcomes and may reduce costs related to hospital-acquired condition penalties.
• Immunotherapy (using the body’s own immune system to attack malignancies) is one of best cancer treatments available now. But oncologists still do not have a precise and reliable method for identifying which patients will benefit from this option. AI and Machine learning algorithms and its ability to synthesize highly complex datasets may be able to illuminate new options for targeting therapies to an individual’s unique genetic makeup.
• AI to assimilate the health-related data generated through wearables and personal devices for better monitoring and extracting actionable insights from this large and varied data source.
• Using smartphones which have built-in AI software and hardware to collect images of eyes, skin lesions, wounds, infections, medications, or other subjects is an important supplement to clinical quality imaging especially in under-served populations or developing nations where there is a shortage of specialists while reducing the time-to-diagnosis for certain complaints. Dermatology and ophthalmology are early beneficiaries of this trend.
• Leveraging AI for clinical decision support, risk scoring, and early alerting are some of the most promising areas of development for this revolutionary approach to data analysis.
• AI allow those in training to go through naturalistic simulations in a way that simple computer-driven algorithms cannot. The advent of natural speech and the ability of an AI computer to draw instantly on a large database of scenarios, means the response to questions, decisions or advice from a trainee can be challenging and the AI training programme can learn from previous responses from the trainee.Back to blogs