AI Is Taking the Healthcare Sector on a Robotic Journey
Let's take a look at how Artificial Intelligence is taking the healthcare sector on a robotic journey. Also, explore areas where AI will have a major impact.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is revolutionizing our lives in various unimaginable ways and it is also invading healthcare while focusing on every aspect of it from delivering personalized wellness to diagnoses and even the revenue cycle. Today, the healthcare system is transforming from volume-based care to value-based care, so we see related advancements in applications that are based on AI. Though there is no agreed definition of AI, the term refers to computing technologies that help to perform various tasks that are associated with human intelligence.
While we debate about the benefits and drawbacks of substituting humans and using machines, there is one area where AI has definitely left a positive impact and will surely improve the quality and the lives of people: the healthcare industry. Whether it is a hospital, medical group, pharmaceutical company, health plan or a medical device manufacturer, the focus in the coming few years will be more on the data-driven solutions and patient-specific innovative technologies that can improve the quality of care services while reducing the operating costs.
Areas Where AI Will Have a Major Impact
Data Mining Medical Records:
With the volume of patient data, increasing day by day, healthcare professionals feel that the complexity of finding the tools to extract insights would become more and more challenging. Researchers are now exploring how AI may help to draw useful information from complex and massive medical data sets. AI can be used in emerging applications for medical data mining and this falls mainly into three categories:
- Prescriptive Analytics: AI algorithms are used to perform a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s data so that it can help to improve the quality of patient management and also help to coordinate the flow of tasks, like ordering tests and etc.
- Diagnostic analytics: This is an advanced form of analytics that examines the data or content so as to determine the main cause of why a health outcome happened.
- Predictive analytics: Healthcare professionals use machine learning to analyze the patient data so that they can determine the possible treatments and outcomes like worsening or improving of the health conditions.
Artificial Intelligence will be used to identify the different patterns in complex datasets faster and more precisely than previously done. It can be used to search the scientific literature for relevant studies and also combine various data and use AI to make predictions about new targets. Researchers have also developed robot scientist that is specifically designed to make the process of drug discovery easy, faster and also more economical.
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to aid the diagnosis of diseases through various means. Using AI to analyze clinical data can help make informed decisions about the treatment related to patients. Possible uses of AI in clinical care include:
- Echocardiography: Hospitals are using AI to analyze the echocardiography scans that can detect the patterns of heartbeats and also diagnose any coronary heart disease.
- Medical imaging: AI can help to process huge amounts of information with a blink of an eye and the results are much more precise than humans when it is about spotting minute details in medical imaging reports like CT scans and mammograms etc.
- Screening of neurological conditions: AI tools are developed that can analyze speech patterns so that it can predict psychotic episodes and also identify and monitor the symptoms of any neurological conditions.
- Surgery: Robotic tools that are controlled by AI algorithms are used to carry out specific tasks like keyhole surgeries, tying knots of close wounds and etc.
Research work or developing new drugs through clinical trials is a very costly matter. Clinical trials can take decades to find results and often cost millions of dollars. But with the use of AI, the process of drug development can easily speed up. It is not very uncommon that serious side effects have been discovered many years after the medication has been launched. Supercomputers that are fueled with AI can find new drugs from a database of molecular structures that could never have been possible for humans to analyze.
Clinical Decision Support
Another example where AI will be very effective in the healthcare industry is the clinical decision support or the CDS tools. These tools are created and built into the EMR systems so that it can assist the clinicians in their work and suggest the best treatment to the patient. The tools help to analyze the slightest detail in a patient’s record and strengthen the decision-making ability. For example, a doctor may read a medical journey twice a month for any reference, but an AI tool can finish reading every case study within a few hours and can help to draw conclusions from different case studies. The applications can also help to increase cooperation and collaboration between different departments and offer better healthcare facilities.
AI technologies are used for a wide range of purposes in the field of healthcare that includes research work, detection of diseases, delivery of healthcare services, drug discovery, etc. It has the potential to address important health challenges, but it should be ensured that the technology is used in a transparent manner that is compatible with the public interest.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.