Artificial Intelligence and Deep learning has been a hot topic of discussion across many fields. The use of AI in healthcare is used to describe the use of machine-learning algorithms and software, to mimic human cognition in the analysis, presentation and comprehension of complex medical and health care data. The primary aim of health-related AI applications is to analyse relationships between prevention or treatment techniques and patient outcomes. Hospitals are looking to AI systems to support operational initiatives that increase cost saving, improve patient satisfaction and satisfy their staffing and workforce needs.
Medical professionals have been wary of AI initially and the adoption of AI in healthcare has been slow because of this reason. AI has improved quite drastically over the last 5 years and medical professionals have slowly started embracing AI for better efficiency and for better patient outcomes. These are the avenues wherein AI has large potential and will amalgamate with other technologies like IoT, Blockchain in the future.
Diagnose efficiently and reduce errors
Symptom analysis is predominantly looking at patterns of diseases and come to a diagnosis. This requires years of training and developing a diagnostic eye. AI based symptom analysis has been doing an excellent job in virtual triage and has been used in resource constrained settings and rural areas. This helps to immediately schedule a consultation with a health care practitioner and also avoid unnecessary hospital visits for mild illness. This saves healthcare costs too.
AI is extremely powerful in cancer screening and detection too. Advancements of AI in pathology and Radiology is creating disruptive models in healthcare and reducing diagnostic errors. This saves time for the patients and treating Physicians to arrive at a diagnosis and also immediately start the treatment improving the prognosis.
Pharma companies develop lifesaving medicines after years of research. Among the potential target molecules which become blockbuster molecules, most of the research work is manual and uses a lot of human labour to identify the right molecules and combination of drugs. Use of AI in clinical research has been a boon to this entire process. We are seeing amazing work in Oncology, Immunology, Targeted therapy and personalised medicine. Fields like Neurological diseases and rare diseases are seeing massive improvement through AI based drug discovery process.
Improving patient experiences
Customer experience is of great importance in all industries and patient experience can be improved a lot with using AI tools. Chronic disease care needs new tools which can make patient happy to follow Doctor instructions and also help in maintaining healthy weight, physical activity etc. We are seeing the rise of Digital therapeutics and Software as a medical device companies who are using Digital twins which have come from automotive industry. We will see more amalgamation of AI from other industries which will have a better impact in how manage chronic diseases.
We are seeing massive improvement in medical training with use of AI powered education tools. Simulation technology combined with AI is helping Surgical training and also medical graduates. AI has the power to improve communication between the professor and the students and also identify the weak students and also suggest improvements.
There have been debates about the use of AI within the medical fraternity and we are seeing massive improvements in platforms like Watson who are performing some tasks better than humans when it comes to pattern recognition, picture recognition etc. Humans get exhausted with mental stress and over work. Healthcare situation in countries like India has severe shortage of staff and are forced to put in long hours and see hundreds of patients every day. Quality and standardisation of care takes time and efforts and AI can free humans from mundane work and gives administrators sufficient time to built good interventions and fuel creativity at work space. Utilising complementary technologies like Blockchain, IoT and and Digital Therapeutics combined with AI can make healthcare better, cost effective and help to reach millions of people.
AI will not replace Physicians but Physicians who do not use AI will be replaced in due course of time.