Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are not the only two people debating over the risks and benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). At present, there is immense excitement about the possibilities of AI in practically every aspect of our lives. From self-driving cars to diagnosing terminal illnesses, AI will revolutionize our world in the coming years, and its applications in healthcare will undoubtedly tremendous.
How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Works:
A normal human brain makes everyday decisions based on the data stored in it. This data can consist of knowledge gained through books, training or lectures. The more data the brain has available, the better decisions it can make. Now it’s a given fact that the latest technology has a storage capacity that greatly exceeds that of a typical brain. AI experts are putting all their efforts into programming this technology to comprehensively analyze the massive data stored in its memory and make decisions accordingly. The decisions made by these machines will thus be more meticulous and supported by much larger evidence.
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine:
AI is already revolutionalizing the healthcare industry with significant advancements made in diagnosing terminal illnesses such as cancer. By storing millions of normal radiographic images in its memory, an artificially intelligent machine could detect a tissue abnormality much earlier than a human eye. AI-based systems can then further suggest the most appropriate treatment plan based on the patient’s individual demographics like age, gender, genetic makeup etc. It can also be used to follow up with patients particularly in case of chronic diseases and can be an important tool for checking up on patients in-between doctor visits. This way, AI can benefit both patients as well as doctors.
Artifical Intelligence in EHR software:
EHR documentation can be the most tedious task in modern day healthcare. Manual entry of clinical notes in electronic health record software can cost a doctor at least a few additional hours a day. This is yet another arena where AI can work its wonders. EHR’s can be integrated with machine learning to automate many of these routine tasks for healthcare providers.
This is not merely a dream. IT healthcare companies are already investing millions into this new feature. talkEHR is one such example that is making headways in the field of healthcare by fully incorporating artificial intelligence in EHR software. It makes use of a patient’s complete personal and medical information, including patient’s age, gender, physical examination report, lab results, diagnoses, medical and drug history, as well as a provider’s past clinical practice, to predict the most likely procedure codes for a particular visit. It’s 90% accurate prediction rate ensures both efficiency and economy for the physician. Furthermore, it is feeding its artificially intelligent software heaps of clinical data from each medical specialty, which could then be utilized to assist the doctor in improved diagnosis and better treatment planning.
In near future, the same software can be integrated with wearable medical devices like pacemakers, smart watches and other monitoring devices to auto-populate a patient’s vitals in the electronic health records, thus leading to a more real-time recording of patient’s health metrics that is readily available for providers. Another benefit could be to utilize EHR data to study and compare the impact of various medications on patients, thus saving billions of dollars and number of years in clinical researches.
Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Doctors?
AI-based software are intended to be like other technological advancements like CT Scanners and ultrasound, machines that are there to assist the doctors – not replace them. Experts are finding out that, like all machines, artificially intelligent machines work best in collaboration with a human expert.
It is common knowledge that physicians and surgeons often seek the second opinion before deciding upon a treatment course for a critically ill patient. AI will provide doctors with just that; a most recommended treatment option based on the practice of thousands of doctors in that specialty. The healthcare provider would still be the one in-charge.
Artificial Intelligence, in a nutshell, offers a major breakthrough in healthcare technology. Its incorporation in EHR software would pave way for more effective practice for physicians.