How is Artificial Intelligence Transforming Healthcare

June 28, 2018
AI in Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence is swiftly changing the way the healthcare industry operates. Several breakthrough innovations have allowed AI systems to become a more stable presence throughout the healthcare industry steadily. Initially, when introduced, AI was used only to manage data in areas like medical records and medication history. Today, AI is now being used in a broader spectrum of healthcare management. It is being used to perform radiological tests like X-rays and CT scans and is also used to help design treatment plans for patients. Artificial Intelligence has been used with digital nurses such as Molly who performs all tasks that a regular nurse can. Research is also being done to see if AI-led 3D printing organs and bones will be more suited as prosthetics.

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The growth of AI has been rapid, and some hospitals have begun experimenting with it in precision surgical programs. Robotic surgeries are quickly gaining a reputation for being less invasive and far more accurate. Non-invasive surgeries mean the body is not invaded, i.e., it is not cut open during surgical investigations.

With the rapid development in AI, there are immense possibilities when it comes to surgical procedures,

  • Increasing the accuracy of complex surgeries, for example,  locating a bleeding point.
  • Reducing the number of invasive procedures.
  • More precise calculation for the point of incision and angle of the incision to reduce the recovery period.
  • Rapid reaction AI to react to and combat changes in the body like a spike in blood pressure.

The potential for AI-only surgeries is already being discussed and researched reducing the dependency on available surgeons. Currently, diagnosis is too reliant on the diagnostician’s skill. This means that the diagnosis and care of a patient are subject to human error. With the introduction of standardized AI, the pressure of diagnosis is removed from the medical practitioner. A more accurate diagnosis is derived since AI relies more on data than diagnostic skill and approach. Now concentration is more on providing added comprehensive care for the patient.

AI in healthcare

Artificial Intelligence is also evolving from within. As more data is accumulated from systems like Molly, the diagnosis speed and treatment accuracy will increase substantially. Machine learning is going to change the way these systems operate. Not only will the industry see an increase in efficiency, but these systems can also be used for pharmaceutical needs like drug creation or diagnosis and healthcare management needs.

AI can be of use in homes as well as in hospitals. With smart monitoring devices already entering the market, some AI devices are being used to monitor blood pressure and blood sugar levels, body temperature and other common diagnosing factors for real-time results.

Robotic and surgical arms like the Da Vinci surgical arm have already made an impact in the field of complex surgical procedures, by taking care of intuitive tasks in prostate surgeries and hysterectomies. In time AI will be a significant player in processes that will help surgeons with cardiovascular surgeries as well.

At a non-medical view, AI is allowing doctors to access medical files quicker and cross-reference them more accurately. It is improbable to think that to access medical history, a person had to rummage through a massive record room. Now, with the digitisation of the industry, everything is a click away. Blood reports would need a sample to be sent to an external lab for diagnosis where a technician would take a few days to analyse the blood manually before sending the findings across. Now, through digitisation and automation, a lot of the detection can be done within hours and attached to the medical files of the patient and be available immediately to the doctor.IBM Machine Learning Banner

AI is still in its infancy in the healthcare industry. The industry itself is filled with numerous risks and pitfalls and the potential for fatalities is still higher for patients than it is for users in any other industry. In a short amount of time, AI has made a difference and has already reduced the invasiveness of surgeries. In time, it can be the revolution that makes this risky industry safe and secure. With AI playing a bigger role in all aspects of healthcare, expect fatalities to drop, precision medicine to act quicker and expect the entire healthcare industry to change in the foreseeable future.

It is fair to say that as AI develops, you can expect to see innovations in record management, diagnosis speed, accuracy, the risk involved in complex procedures, lab testing, drug creation and treatment management.

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