5 Ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Changing Healthcare
There’s been a tremendous impact on the global market because of the invention of artificial intelligence (AI). A machine, which can imitate the human’s cognitive activities, has paved the way for the new applications in various industries. Apart from all of the industries, AI in healthcare has received supreme importance.
AI, which includes techniques like machine learning and natural language processing, is used for many health-related aspects, especially in the areas of cardiology, neurology, and oncology. With AI, doctors and nurses can have access to inordinate amounts of data and they can put it to good use while operating or examining the patients. The global healthcare market is now relying on AI to reduce the manual work and providing an accurate diagnosis of the patients.
There’s now a greater extension of AI in the medical field. The traditional analytical techniques have been upgraded and there’s a significant change in the clinical making decisions. AI has now become a part of the medical industry and is not only used to deal with healthcare issues but also to automate administrative tasks.
AI has become popular as it reduces manual error which is common in healthcare. In one of the analyses, it is observed that the applications of AI can allow a huge amount of savings for the US healthcare economy. Not only in the US but many developed countries in Europe and Asia, investing in artificial intelligence to increase smart healthcare solutions.
Let’s see how AI is changing the healthcare industry:
- Medical Image Processing
To illustrate this point, consider this. We often hear doctors suggesting us to take MRI, CT scans, X-rays, etc., for various medical diagnosis. Even with the help of these, doctors might not find the correct problem because the scans are not always able to give the right diagnosis on their own. In these situations, doctors had to rely on alternate methods like biopsies for the identification of medical issues.
But with the incorporation of AI in healthcare, there are so many inputs doctors can get rather than from the conventional scanning methods. For instance, there will be an easy identification of cancer cells from normal cells. AI provides highly accurate inputs from the body, which enables doctors to have a better understanding of the patients surgical area to perform the operation seamlessly.
- Virtual Health Assistance
Imagine patients having a personal assistant, reminding them to take their medication at the right time or prescribing the proper medication for common ailments. It will be beneficial having someone preparing a diet plan according to our body needs and reminding to attend doctor appointments and enabling virtual interaction with doctors, etc. Few of the common examples are AI-based healthcare apps such as ADA, Healthify Me, and more.
With the invention of chatbots, there’s an exponential change in the medical industry globally. Chatbots can assist in emergencies at least until paramedics’ arrival. Patients can interact with chatbots which are intelligently programmed to give proper medical advice to the patients. These may never replace the actual doctor, but at least decreases the fears and stress of the patient.
- Robot assistance in surgeries
It’s intimidating to imagine robots operating on patients. Many questions arise, like what if the robot commits an error? What if there’s a malfunction? What if the programmed knowledge is misled? What if it cannot properly imitate the actual surgery process? There’s so much stress on patients.
But robots, which have technical brilliance combined with the expert knowledge of a surgeon, can operate on patients with precision, steadiness, and accuracy. Also, robots can assist the actual surgeon with the information and analysis and can act as helping hands during an operation. Because of robots involvement in surgeries, there will be better outcomes for patients and, this has set a remarkable trend in the global medical industry.
- Early detection of diseases
Right now, there’s only reactive medical care. Which means, doctors prescribe the medication only after certain tests. For instance, chemotherapy is started only after the patient goes to the doctor with some symptoms of cancer. If you have diabetic symptoms, then the doctors give you some insulin shots. This procedure is called reactive medical care.
But with AI in healthcare, the process has turned to proactive medical care where you can detect the signs of some diseases early and act accordingly. For enabling this, the patient’s entire medical history is studied and if there are any potential chances of high-risk diseases, the patient is alerted beforehand.
This process is mainly designed through apps which helps in improving our health by alerting us. For example, using suggestions like – ‘Here are the ways to improve your health’.
- Maintaining electronic health records
As mentioned earlier, AI in the medical industry is also used for administrative tasks of the hospitals. There’s endless documentation of the patient records in the huge network of hospitals. This means there’s a high chance of human errors, which sometimes pose risk to the patient lives.
With the invention of AI, there’s now optimum usage of patients’ health records. As information retrieval is the strong aspect of AI, it enables easy track of the patient’s past medical history. Also, the voice dictation, combined with natural language processing, is especially useful to the doctors in saving a lot of time and effort.
Machine Learning and Natural language
AI mainly uses machine learning and natural language processing which are the essential factors to promote virtual intelligence. Let’s see in detail how these two factors aid the change in the global medical industry.
In machine learning, there’s an analysis of structured data collected from patients like images, genetic data and more. To put it simply this technique is used to collect the patient’s habits and to check the probability or tendencies of the diseases.
In Natural Language Processing (NLP), unstructured data is collected from clinical notes and medical prescriptions. This is then converted to machine-readable data, which is analyzed by machine learning techniques.
Challenges of AI in healthcare
Naturally, like all things, the introduction of AI also has certain imperfections. Although researchers are tackling these challenges, there’s a tiny amount of speculation for relying completely on Artificial Intelligence, because of:
• The possibility of the wrong prediction of the AI built systems
• The reduced comfort level between doctors and patients
• Patients not having a general idea on automated systems
• Possible chances of a security breach due to hacking
Despite the challenges, artificial intelligence is changing the medical and biotech industry globally, because of its significant advantages. This is the reason top countries in the USA, Europe, and Asia are contributing so much into the research and implementation of AI in healthcare. In the future, we can see the hospitals completely adopting the applications of AI for disease diagnosis, treatment, detection and more.