Healthcare systems can prevent thousands of chronic diseases by being able to diagnose them accurately in their early stages, with the help of Artificial Intelligence! - Piyush Jain, Co-Founder and CEO, ImpactGuru.com
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has grown to occupy an important position in various sectors; from education, healthcare to software development. Be it the self-driving car by Tesla, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri- they are some forms of AI that an average person gets to experience. While all of these developments have a significant impact on our world, AI’s exciting scope and growth in particular, can prove extremely crucial to the healthcare sector. Considering how complicated and diverse the world of healthcare is, AI’s role in this industry can lead to improved efficiency and accuracy in diagnosis.
It is imperative to understand that with any change comes its own gestation period- while the present scenario for AI looks amazing, sustained growth and development is important to not hinder its momentum. Here are 3 impactful shifts that AI is going to bring about in the healthcare industry.
1. Supports diagnosis and aids clinical judgements
Although this aspect of AI is in its nascent stages, it shows a whole lot of promise. AI systems have been equipped with enough data processing abilities to be able to accurately identify common ailments and diseases. Thus, minimizing a doctor’s workload effectively.
SigTuple is an Indian company that builds intelligent screening solutions to aid diagnosis through AI- powered analysis of visual data like X Ray, ECG, MRI scan etc. They equip local public health centers and clinics with SigTuple Smart Screening Tech; enabling faster diagnosis thereby minimizing the risk of aggravating the patient’s condition. They do basic screening as well as advanced diagnosis.
Apollo Hospitals has partnered with Microsoft’s AI Network to develop an India-specific heart risk score which predicts cardiac diseases. It is part of Microsoft Healthcare NExT initiative, where they aim to accelerate healthcare innovation through AI and cloud computing.
Around 10 percent of patient deaths and between 6 and 17 percent of hospital complications are impacted by diagnostic errors. Healthcare systems all around the world can prevent thousands of chronic diseases by being able to diagnose them accurately in their early stages, with the help of AI.
2. AI assisted surgeries
Robots have now evolved to become an integral part of the AI ecosystem. They are capable of analyzing data from pre-op medical records and guiding a surgeon's instrument during surgery. Research has shown that this leads to a 21% reduction in a patient's hospital stay. On average, robot-assisted surgery is considered "minimally invasive" so the process of healing from large incisions will be significantly faster.
AI has enabled robots to utilize data from past operations to assist with new surgical techniques. The positive results are indeed promising. Heartlander is a miniature robot that makes a small incision on the chest to perform mapping and therapy over the surface of the heart.
With AI’s integration with healthcare, one can expect a data driven approach to managing healthcare, thereby improving the success rates of clinical surgeries and recovery periods of patients.
3. Streamlining medical and administrative communication
From interacting with patients to directing patients to the most effective care setting, virtual nursing assistants could save the healthcare industry $20 billion annually. Virtual nurses are available 24/7, thereby making it easier to answer questions, monitor patients, and provide quick answers round the clock.
A Dutch company called Zorgprisma Publiek uses AI to crawl through the data to highlight mistakes in treatments, workflow inefficiencies, and helps area healthcare systems avoid unnecessary patient hospitalizations.
These interrelated market segments are set to grow; indicating a positive trend in harnessing the power of AI. The benefits of applying AI will be felt in many fields affecting patient lives - right from early disease detection, developing medical drugs, targeted treatment to accurate medical analysis. Additionally, extensive use of AI in healthcare will also mean cheaper cost of care and improved access to health services. The rapid spread of ‘fitness first’ attitude throughout the world has prompted various countries to explore providing benefits attributing to healthy life choices such as no smoking or no drinking. The additional use of AI will definitely complement the incentives, adding on to increasing life spans, over time.