Published On: December 25th, 2022
When you come across the term Artificial Intelligence (AI), you may quickly think of the last time you used Google Assistant to find out the latest cricket scores or to play your song.
Although that is one of the most commendable ways in which AI is making our lives simpler, there are many more that people least ponder over – healthcare being one.
The benefits of AI in healthcare cannot be overstated, especially following the pandemic. The technology is already strengthening its footing in the industry, aiming toward effective patient care, speedier research and development, better decisions, and streamlined workflows.
The informed use of AI in the medical field is already creating a win-win situation for the three core subsets: patients, doctors, and hospital management.
How Are AI Solutions Changing the Face of Healthcare?
AI has equipped the healthcare industry in more ways than we could imagine. It isn’t a one-time phenomenon but a continuous process that’ll further unfold several capabilities of the technology, making the world a better place to live.
As far as the future of AI in healthcare is concerned, the use of AI in the global healthcare industry is expected to grow to $45.2 billion by 2026, as a Forbes report suggests.
But how exactly is AI changing the face of the healthcare sector? Read on to learn!
Ease & Efficiency
A Virtual Health Assistant (VHA) is voice-enabled software that guides you and carries out electronic tasks with a simple voice command. It analyses the requisite data by integrating with devices, such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, pulse readers, and CPAP masks.
They can provide up-to-date and accurate information to patients and doctors by eliminating the need for physical presence.
For patients, it allows round-the-clock access to any healthcare information, scheduling of appointments, check-up reminders, checking symptoms, recommending effective diet plans with health and wellness tips, and automated customer support.
The VHA benefits are not limited to helping patients. It helps doctors aggregate fundamental information, including patient history, costing, insurance details, demographic data analysis, and much more. Still, it also facilitates the overall operational mechanism of hospitals and patient care by creating a personalised and straightforward ecosystem.
Speedy + Effective Diagnosis
Believe it or not, AI has proven to be as good as humans when diagnosing a disease based on a medical image. It plays a critical role in facilitating diagnostics, as it studies multiple medical images and tracks patterns, progression, and deterioration, among other highly complex variations for humans to trace, in a significantly short span. It helps detect various diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, tuberculosis, chronic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, skin disorders, and liver ailments.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 healthy women are told they have cancer following the inaccurate results given by mammograms. This leads to acute stress among the patients and their family members. In the worst cases, it may even plunge them into depression. The inaccurate reports also require patients to undergo the painful process of biopsy.
A study reveals that AI can accurately diagnose disease in 87% of the cases, as against an 86% accuracy rate in case of diagnosis made by healthcare professionals. Also, the specificity for deep learning algorithms is 93%, which is relatively higher than the 91% rate by humans.
Greater Patient Engagement
Increased patient engagement is another substantial benefit of artificial intelligence in healthcare. Conversational AI is known to boost patient engagement as it employs techniques such as Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to precisely comprehend the words spoken by the user and provide a prompt and accurate reply in a conversational rather than robotic tone.
Moreover, it can also cut down the treatment costs by half! Studies show that conversational AI assistants can decrease treatment costs by 50% while boosting the outcomes by 30-40%.
Simplified Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Healthcare heavily relies on documentation concerning diagnostic reports, studies, prescriptions, patient history, or medical archives. While doctors and other healthcare professionals have many responsibilities, managing all the paperwork can be a draconian task. Besides, its misplacement can cause more trouble to the patient. But with AI in motion, the scenarios are changing.
Electronic Health Records or EHRs are automated assimilation of a patient’s medical history, demographics, progress, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunisations, laboratory data, and radiology reports. It can streamline the workflow and patient records in the fastest and most efficient manner without requiring any manual intervention, thus saving activities’ costly, vulnerable, and laborious nature.
The use of AI in the medical field also automates several clerical activities, such as filing and consolidating medical findings, drafting prescriptions, processing insurance claims, cost estimation, billing, etc., leading to seamless processes.
Doctors can navigate the reports with ease, and provide advanced patient care.
Considering AI’s “robotic” nature, you may be tricked into believing that it can only crunch data and numbers and may not have a role in treating patients.
Let us clear the air for you.
AI dramatically contributes to better disease management while assisting patients with improved compliance with their treatment regimen. It also helps improve the quality of life for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), strokes, or spinal cord injuries. Through AI,
Brain-computer interfaces can aid in restoring speech and locomotor capabilities.
Studies suggest that currently, only 20% of patients respond to immunotherapy. However, deep learning algorithms also possess the potential to tailor the patient’s genetic profile and improve the number.
AI can aid in smart and quick decision-making.
How does artificial intelligence in healthcare help with better decision-making, you may wonder! The AI-driven Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSSs) can help healthcare professionals to make better-informed and data-backed clinical decisions by evaluating the latest data combined with past insight.
CDSS is workflow technology that equips clinicians or the “decision makers” in the given scenario to support their decisions with competent, unquestionable evidence about diagnoses, treatment recommendations, or drug prescriptions. It also enables doctors, pathologists, patients, researchers, and students to access accurate data at the right time and easily!
Researchers can make more exhaustive studies with lesser costs and resources.
Research and development is the crux of healthcare, don’t you agree?
Studies conducted by the California Biomedical Research Association indicate that, on average, it takes nearly two years for a drug/medicine to travel from research to patient. Besides, only four in four thousand drugs in the preclinical phase become ready for human testing, and only one is sanctioned for intake.
However, leveraging the capabilities of AI technology helps streamline the research and development of drugs, drastically eliminating the time to market for new drugs and the associated costs.
AI research labs enable easy access to structured patient data from vast databases and rapid development of different methodologies for massive data analysis.
The Future of AI In Healthcare
The intricacies of AI technology and the subtleties of its effects on everyone involved in the healthcare industry deserve special attention. While AI has been extensively used in developed countries, it is yet to gain ground in the developing and underdeveloped countries of the Asian and African continents. Assessing its upsides and identifying potential risks is the key to making the world healthier.
To get the rarest glimpses of the latest innovations and stories in AI, stay tuned to the best stories at Colitco’s blog hive.