June 12, 2021
Computer controlled robots, otherwise known as Intelligent Machine Systems and powered by Artificial Intelligence technology, are built to process thoughts and perform tasks much like humans, but potentially quicker and better. They can even reason and learn from past experiences, and some scientists estimate that in the future these machines could replace certain functions that human beings currently do (i.e. performing work tasks). The legendary Stephen Hawking once said, “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, can’t compete with AI-aided machines and will be superseded.” Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have both publicly shared similar opinions.
With that, Artificial intelligence technology is still evolving and the chances of it taking over our jobs in the near future is low. But still it’s hard to deny the fact that AI-aided machines and systems have helped to improve the efficiencies of several industries, including healthcare. We have witnessed hospitals and providers embracing this technology because it has allowed them, in many cases, to streamline their daily operations and focus more on providing the best patient care possible. Here’s how:
Up until now, the healthcare industry has functioned in a notoriously reactive way, offering treatments or tempered solutions to their patients in order to treat or manage symptoms as they occur. In today’s world, however, AI-integrated systems are being used to help predict conditions before they become life-threatening. The UPMC, Sharp Case Study gives us a good example of this, explaining how they used an AI-aided system to predict at-risk health declines (those that are going to occur within a 60-minute time frame). This artificial intelligence-based system amazingly provides 80% accuracy which has helped UPMC to dispatch their emergency response teams quickly before problems become truly life-threatening.
Electronic health record systems are now widely used in practices to help providers maintain an organized record of patient health and care. This collection of information contains details about medical history, allergies, medicines, and more on all patients. By way of artificial intelligence solutions, providers can make connections and predictions in order to ultimately provide the best treatment and medication to their patients.
Intelligent chatbots simulate real human conversational language as a way to answer queries or assist with navigation. You can experience these for yourself by trying out Amazon’s Alexa or iPhone’s Siri. This concept is also used in Customer Support Centers that manage voice and data communication like email, web-based chat/instant messaging queries, and websites/landing pages. This implementation of artificial intelligence can and likely will revolutionize the telehealth sector of the healthcare industry by automating certain processes for individuals or families who don’t have access to public transportation, or for those who might live in rural areas.
Wearable health monitoring devices are becoming more sophisticated by the day. These devices record important health information users and AI-integration helps to interpret the data in a meaningful way in order to predict health risks (such as a heart attack or stroke). The application of artificial intelligence in wearable health monitoring devices serves to warn the person about health risks long before those risks become critical.
AI has the potential to save billions of dollars that might otherwise be spent on clinical trials to check the effectiveness of a medicine against a specific disease. Recently, The University of Toronto programmed a supercomputer to analyze millions of medicines to predict their effectiveness against the Ebola virus which ended up saving them from spending money on costly tests. So, this integration of artificial intelligence in clinical trials can completely change the landscape of drug development as well.
Over the many years, radiology images taken with the help of X-rays, MRI and CT scans have helped physicians. It provided a way to them to take a look into the inner working of the human body. But, there are many cases that require biopsy for correct diagnosis of the illness or reason behind it. For biopsy, healthcare staff need to collect a physical tissue sample for analysis. This method posses a threat to transmit infections.
However, experts predict that AI technology has the potential to facilitate the next generation of radiology tools that can help in producing images that are detailed enough to eliminate the need for biopsy in some cases.
Better and detailed imaging will help healthcare providers better understand the severity of cancer and propose treatments that are more profound.
There is a deficit of trained healthcare providers such as radiologists and ultrasound technicians. It is significantly affecting the accessibility of life-saving healthcare in third world countries. With the effective use of AI technology, we can reduce the impact of deficit of healthcare providers by taking over many of the duties of these practices.
For example, AI imaging tools provide greater accuracy in screening chest X-rays for tuberculosis. With the help of an app, the capability of artificial intelligence can be leveraged to provide improved healthcare in underserved regions with a shortage of radiologists on site.
The digitization in the healthcare industry became possible with the introduction of electronic health record software. But, with it came a myriad problems such as user burnout, endless documentation and user burnout.
According to Adam Landman, CIO and Vice President at Brigham Health said that, healthcare staff spend most of their time doing three tasks, order entry, sorting through in-basket and clinical documentation.
The effective use of artificial intelligence can solve majority of these problems. The voice assistance can not only help in efficient data recording, but may also help in result notification, medication refill and to process routine requests from the inbox.
The quality of mobile phone cameras is improving with each passing year. Scientists believe harnessing the power of smartphone selfies using AI algorithm will assist in efficient diagnosis. Ophthalmology and dermatology are the early beneficiaries.
In the United Kingdom, a team of researchers have developed a tool using AI technology to detect developmental diseases by analyzing child’s face images. This tool help in analyzing the ordinary image for more than 90 disorders based on nose placement, jawline, eyes and other attributes of the face. It is a great discovery and can help cut down the overall time of diagnosis and required treatment.
Artificial intelligence technology presents potential to scientists in the positive shift of healthcare industry. Reaping the benefits of AI in healthcare will help people experience profound care in advanced regions and underserved countries. It has the ability to replace healthcare providers in areas where there is shortage. Moreover, it has the potential to improve the diagnosis tools to facilitate prompt action is diagnosis and treatment of the illnesses.