Applications of AI in Healthcare

The acceptance and implementation of technological innovations has led to a dramatic change in the healthcare sector over the years. Medical Science has evolved by leaps and bounds powered by cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, IoT, and Big Data.

The increase in medical data, along with rising digital expectations from healthcare providers, makes a strong argument for intelligent healthcare systems powered by AI and data analytics.

People all across the world now have access to inexpensive and high-quality healthcare and medications. Naturally, our life expectancy has increased.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform healthcare and assist in finding solutions to the healthcare industry’s challenges.

Today, AI in healthcare is assisting in the transformation of the following areas:

AI Assisting in Healthcare

1. Primary Care

Virtual nurse assistants powered by AI and wearable technology are game changers in providing primary care to patients. These intelligent AI systems can remotely analyse a patient’s symptoms and vital signs and notify doctors/nurses whenever they require emergency medical treatment.

Through chat-based conversations, intelligent virtual assistants may also provide effective medical advice for common health issues. This functionality not only relieves the load on medical personnel, but it also saves patients from avoidable clinic visits.

Virtual nursing assistants get familiar with patient diagnoses and conditions as they gain experience and interact with patients on a regular basis. Their diagnostic abilities and knowledge improve with time, and they can provide effective patient treatment suggestions.

For example, Sense.ly’s virtual nurse avatar Molly can interact with patients and respond to their queries. It also helps to communicate with doctors in real time by smartphone, tablet, TV or computer.

2. Drug Discovery

AI technologies can assist researchers and scientists in discovering and developing new possible treatments and potential drugs, if they are provided access to the databases of information on existing medicines.

AI systems such as Machine Learning and Deep Learning are helping to make drug discovery quick, cost-effective, and more targeted. These smart technologies are accelerating the development and launch of new medicines and vaccines to the market. This article is a proof for the same.

Pfizer, for example, uses ML-powered IBM Watson to develop immuno-oncology drugs, while Sanofi has collaborated with UK based start-up Exscientia’s AI platform to develop metabolic-disease therapies.

3. Patient Risk Identification

Healthcare providers are utilising AI technologies to analyse large amounts of previous patient data in order to provide real-time assistance to physicians and medical specialists in detecting at-risk patients and providing immediate care.

These technologies can identify patients who are more likely to relapse, allowing physicians to modify their treatment plans accordingly. Healthcare providers and medical researchers are experimenting with AI predictive models to identify those who are at high risk of COVID-19.

4. Radiology

AI technologies are assisting in the automation of image analysis and diagnosis in the field of radiology. According to GE Healthcare, “90% of all healthcare data originates from medical imaging.” It is a large amount of data, and more than 97 percent of it remains un-analyzed or untouched.”

Healthcare practitioners can incorporate AI technology with medical imaging to make better utilisation of this huge amount of medical data. AI-powered medical imaging systems can produce accurate scans, allowing radiologists to visually analyse medical pictures and report results in order to correctly diagnose, describe, and monitor illnesses. This enables medical professionals to provide targeted therapy to at-risk individuals.

5. Robotic Surgery

Artificial intelligence-powered robots assist doctors in performing minimally invasive and complicated surgical operations. The accuracy provided by robotic assistants enhances the effectiveness of open surgeries. Stryker, Accuray, Mazor Robotics, Auris Health, Intuitive Surgical, Zimmer Biomet, and Stereotaxis are a few of the successful robotic surgery companies.

Furthermore, AI technology has resulted in major advancements in oncology, such as thoracic imaging, colonoscopy, mammography, abdominal and pelvic imaging, radiation oncology, and brain imaging.

How is AI Transforming The Healthcare Industry?

1. Early Detection

AI technology can prove useful in the early and accurate detection of various illnesses, especially cancer, in its early stages. According to the American Cancer Society, a large number of mammograms provide misleading results, resulting in one in every two healthy women being misdiagnosed with breast cancer.

However, AI is assisting in the struggle against this problem by examining and interpreting mammograms 30 times quicker than previous methods and with 99 percent accuracy. Furthermore, the growing popularity of remotely operated wearables and medical gadgets assists doctors in monitoring early-stage cardiac ailments, allowing them to address the problems while they are still curable.

2. Improves Diagnosis

Medical diagnosis has substantially improved as a result of AI. IBM’s Watson Health is a great example. Watson’s cognitive technology is used by healthcare organisations to collect large amounts of health data.

Watson can store and analyse massive quantities of medical data, from symptoms and diagnoses to case studies of therapy and response. Similarly, Google’s DeepMind Health has emerged as a pioneering strategy for understanding real-world health problems.

DeepMind collaborated with specialists from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to create a technology that can reliably predict acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients approximately 48 hours sooner than current techniques of diagnosis.

3. Enhances Disease Management

AI’s powers extend beyond scanning medical information and precise diagnosis. It enables medical professionals to adopt a more holistic approach to disease management. Healthcare workers may use intelligent AI technologies and software solutions to seamlessly coordinate treatment plans, better manage patients, and prioritise medical cases.

Doctors can now conduct complicated operations with more precision and agility, thanks to robotics. Robot assistants, for example, are extensively employed in procedures such as coronary artery bypass, hysterectomy, pyeloplasty, kidney transplant, radical cystectomy, and tubal ligation, to mention a few. Moreover, hospitals and clinics utilise robots to perform repetitive activities that need minimal human intervention.

4. Improves Life Care

In human health applications, AI along with the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), is assisting people in taking active care of health. AI-powered fitness devices and health sensors can monitor vitals such as heart rate, oxygen level, blood pressure,etc. allowing you to manage your health status and regularly monitor it.

These smart technologies encourage people to live better lifestyles and take charge of their health and well-being. Additionally, AI tools help medical practitioners better understand their patients’ requirements, allowing them to provide better guidance and care assistance.

Artificial intelligence is here to stay. In the coming years, AI technologies and advancements will bring about a lot of positive changes in the healthcare industry.

However, the increasing adoption of AI in healthcare demands active engagement by healthcare professionals and organisations in upskilling and R&D. Only then will healthcare practitioners be able to reap the full benefits of AI.

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