It is a well-known fact that the future of healthcare lies in the digitization of processes to ensure faster access to healthcare with better quality. With this digitization has come the development of AI-based technologies like machine learning and deep learning, that can give medical professionals and doctors access to patient data that can be lifesaving. AI-driven data can track trends and make predictions that can help identify health risks and outcomes on the short and long run. With COVID-19 at the helm, it has become more and more important to use all available technologies to help improve the healthcare system and ensure healthcare becomes more accessible and affordable to all those who need it.
Here are 6 reasons why AI-based technology are an advantage to the healthcare system:
- Enabling complete digitalization of medical records
The one thing that complicates healthcare processes for users and medical professionals is documentation. Artificial intelligence can take healthcare further by reducing the burden of heavy documentation on users. These include documentation during hospitalization, medical receipts, prognosis reports etc. If implemented, AI will also be able to automate all these processes that are often repetitive and time-consuming thus improving the healthcare experience for users.
- Providing instant solutions to similar health issues
AI-powered health-bots in healthcare can help provide solutions to users on-the-go. This technology works in a way that’s similar to a doctor giving information and results for patients with similar illnesses or issues. AI can help put together all data related to patient behaviour and issues, learn from it and initiate the first steps of analysis. Not only can AI-powered health assistants and health bots help quickly diagnose issues, but they also help improve processes and reduce costs for both medical professionals and users.
- Predicting and preventing health issues with collected data and health records
AI-based developments can add value to electronic health records assisting with risk analysis, predictive analysis and prognosis support. The data pool within EHRs is extremely important here as AI can help categorize and structure the data and the same can be used to predict health issues like heart attacks, strokes, cancer etc. This helps improve the turnaround time and quality of care given to the patients.
- Smart medical devices and machines
Smart devices are already taking over most of our everyday life making it easier for providers to meet our needs. AI-backed smart devices in the healthcare system can help track patient recovery, complications, provide suggestions to fix such complications and overall patient monitoring. This can contribute to improving outcomes during patient hospitalization, reduce costs for hospitalization and related processes and reduce the dependency on manpower.
- Allowing predictive analysis thus encouraging preventive care
Since the onset of COVID-19, preventive care has been at the helm of healthcare. People are becoming more aware of the services provided by the healthcare systems and the importance of maintaining their overall health to reduce risks. AI-based technologies can help analyze and predict future health hazards for patients – whether they are prone to certain health issues, their genetic susceptibility, their health history etc. This can, in turn, lead to a growth in the preventive healthcare system as predictions made can help patients avoid these health issues. The future of AI can make it possible for doctors to foresee health issues, diseases not just for individuals but among larger groups of people as well. This can also include studying mental health issues among patients which are often predictors of psychosomatic illnesses.
- Constant health monitoring and tracking through wearable technology
Nowadays, health-related data is being recorded and utilized right on-the-go. With the increasing popularity of wearable technology, literally, every user has a track of important health data like their blood oxygen levels, heart rate etc. This data, if collected and analyzed with the help of AI can be extremely helpful when tracking a patient’s health. It can give a deeper understanding of a patient’s health habits which in-turn can help medical professionals relate the data to any existing health issues or predict future health issues. Deeper insights allow for better understanding of patient health, thus making it easier for doctors to give them the right care at the right time.
Even though the future of AI in healthcare seems bright, there are some limitations. While advanced healthcare systems exist for specific purposes like predicting breast cancer via X-rays (As developed by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Team) or catching heart murmurs or issues with ECG, generalized Healthcare AI remains in the realm of the future. Also, training such systems for each specific use case, can take at least 6 months and possibly more than a year. Furthermore, quite a few of these AI’s are in actuality just rule engines or using advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Deep Learning; they aren’t true AI. Even though we can’t expect AI to make an entrance in healthcare yet, the technologies in place, if developed further, show great promise in revolutionizing the future of healthcare.