Connected care quickly became a go-to solution for doctors and patients in 2020. And, the healthcare industry being under immense pressure due to the Covid 19 pandemic has led to breakthroughs in healthcare technology that are helping enable the increased demand for remote patient care.
A complex technology system used in the healthcare sector can hinder staff workflows, threatening the continuity of care in hospitals and other clinical areas used to diagnose, treat, monitor, prevent, and cure various diseases. However, the implementation of artificial intelligence can play a key role in easing the processes.
While AI has been playing a role in various industries the past few years, it has only recently started taking the same role in the healthcare sector. The market size of artificial intelligence in healthcare is expected to grow at a CAGR of 44.9%, i.e., from 4.9 billion USD in 2020 to 45.2 billion USD in 2026. After the pandemic hit, rising healthcare costs and growing cross-industry collaborations are seen as the major driving factors for adopting AI to better manage complex data and systems.
AI’s Role in Healthcare Today
In various capacities, Artificial Intelligence is changing the world for the better. Here are some cases of artificial intelligence being used in the healthcare sector:
- Radiology: AI solutions are developed and implemented for enhanced image analysis and diagnosis. Such systems can help better diagnose diseases while reducing human error and increase efficacy. Significant developments can be seen in the MRI and CT scan technologies that can now detect tumors better. There is also an opportunity for fully automated systems for similar disease diagnosis.
- Patient Risk Identification: Artificial intelligence, when combined with analytics, can provide greater insights into a patient’s data in real-time and help identify associated risks. Such systems can also help estimate future visits of the patients by analyzing their past medical data. It can further help in reducing admission and other relevant costs, making healthcare more affordable to all.
- Drug Discovery: All smart technologies of the future are being implemented for drug discoveries of multiple diseases. Take the case of the recent COVID-19 pandemic for which the vaccines have started rolling out to the masses. If it were not for all these smart technologies implemented in the healthcare sector, it wouldn’t have been possible for scientists and related medical professionals to discover effective drugs for this global pandemic rapidly. Using artificial intelligence for future drug discoveries may accelerate the process and potentially provide us with the cure for multiple other diseases like Ebola and Cancers.
- Primary Care: Many diverse organizations are working on providing a solution where patients can get a quick response to basic medical queries. Few medical organizations have already started experimenting with the apps that give access to scheduling appointments, visit history, response to basic queries, and similar other functionalities. Such developments in primary care save time and widen access to a sophisticated, easy-to-use system. Moreover, the use of AI can provide basic guidance to the patients, especially those located in remote areas. However, these solutions may require a properly validated response for patient’s safety.
Personal Health Assistants
Think of the gadgets we use to track our heart rate, walking distance, calories, and steps? Yes, they are our personal health assistants. Smartwatches, mobile applications, and discrete monitors are only a few examples of personal health assistants that use advanced artificial intelligence and other smart technologies.
Advanced AI in collaboration with the Internet of Things (IoT) and data science are used in these consumer-oriented smart gadgets to keep a daily track of its owner’s health. Can you imagine how useful these devices can become with more advancements in AI? Every attempt is being made to remedy the irregularities in their operations. However, it may still take a little more time to get there.
The Future Outlook
When an investor, a medical professional, government, or any decision-maker talks about improving healthcare, AI remains on top of their minds. This technology is here to stay, and we must find ways to intertwine it with our routine. The dynamics of AI are surely changing the face of healthcare for good. With a plethora of medical problems to overcome, like chronic diseases and their diagnosis, the need for artificial intelligence is mushrooming.
Some of the best opportunities for implementing artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector is through hybrid models. While such machines will be able to identify risk factors, diagnose the disease, and plan an entire treatment, the final decision of patient’s care and safety remains with the medical professional. It can help accelerate the adoption of AI over the next few years.
Another benefit of AI in healthcare can be seen in the improved outcomes with meager human errors and enhanced operational efficiency.
The major benefits of adopting AI include:.
- AI-Powered Predictive Care
Understanding different medical conditions based on the history of the patients, including environmental conditions of a specific geography.
- Connected Care & Network Hospitals
Systemic digital infrastructure provides access to the nearest hospital or clinic depending upon the disease’s severity for an efficient process.
- Better Staff & Patient Experience
AI-powered predictive models help reduce wait-time, administrative burdens, and enhance staff workflows, thereby reducing clinical shortages or human burnouts.
Transforming Healthcare with Artificial Intelligence
Unifying the human brain with smart technology is poised to deliver major advancements in the healthcare sector. Everything a human brain can think of, AI can deliver – bringing intelligence to medical devices and machines, containing risks of antibiotic resistance, creating precise pathology imagery, expanding access of healthcare to underprivileged and remote areas, developing next-gen tools for precision diagnosis and treatment.
While connected healthcare systems continue to globalize for better access, people will get a better healthcare experience with the implementation of artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence can revolutionize clinical decision-making from a single device used at the bedside. Besides, AI’s most powerful application is in magnifying human capabilities and not replacing them. Humans will always require another human for love and care.