Data is everything nowadays and healthcare is increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret this information correctly. Further, the rise of smart devices has enabled AI to influence outcomes and many more aspects of healthcare.
In this article, we consider the impact of AI in healthcare and specific ways in which neural networks are changing, improving, and transforming the entire industry.
How the Healthcare Industry Uses Artificial Intelligence
Different types of AI are being employed by healthcare providers with treatment and diagnosis among the categories to benefit. That said, AI tools can also take care of admin duties and even help in terms of inquiries and engagement with patients.
AI can save time and money and there are many instances in which artificial intelligence can actually outperform humans! AI can also analyze large amounts of information accurately and then provide crucial insights upon completion.
It’s important to remember that while there may be ethical concerns regarding AI in healthcare, the intention is to improve. Given the importance of accuracy in this industry, it also makes sense to embrace the role of machines and computer science.
Let’s take a look at some ways in which AI is being used in healthcare.
5 Ways the Healthcare Industry Uses Artificial Intelligence
1. AI Tools are Being Used to Assist Healthcare Staff
Artificial intelligence can analyze verbal and nonverbal information to identify a diagnosis without even being in the presence of a patient. This is especially useful in the case of emergencies as ambulance staff cannot afford to waste time; knowing vital information prior to arrival is often the difference between life and death.
Teams of healthcare researchers and clinicians can speed up clinical trials by using AI to conduct medical coding confirmation. These same clinicians can also use AI to comb medical data for the purpose of customizing care for patients.
Another great example is Corti which is a tool that can help emergency staff by detecting clues that indicate a potential heart attack. This AI tool analyzes the voice of a caller upon contact along with relevant background noise and even data pertaining to the patient.
2. Expanding and Improving Access to Healthcare
The healthcare industry is often under pressure due to shortages of trained or qualified staff. Although more of a problem in developing countries, patients across the United States are often unable to access life-saving care from trained technicians.
Artificial intelligence can help ease this pressure by taking care of certain diagnostics for which these technicians are responsible. This is seen in AI imaging tools that can x-ray the body for serious disease because experts already propose this process should be deployed in the future with an app and without the presence of a radiologist.
Either way, it’s clear that AI can help take care of menial or time-consuming tasks which allow trained staff to focus on tasks that require specific skills and expertise.
3. AI Helps Improve Productivity and Streamline Various Processes
AI can collect and store huge amounts of medical data that can help healthcare staff provide fast and accurate treatment to patients. This means trained staff get to deploy their skills and experience rather than spend their time searching through information.
In fact, a recent Forbes article suggests artificial intelligence can help increase productivity by more than 40% while simultaneously improving engagement. This same article states how AI can streamline drug research and processes related to diagnosis and treatment. More on the latter in a moment.
The same theory can be applied to every other area of healthcare in that AI can be used to help improve productivity and streamline various systems. It should be noted how AI doesn’t just collect and store either; it can analyze and use data to identify patterns, diseases, treatments, and the like.
4. AI Can Use Smart Devices to Inform and Alert Healthcare Staff
As reported by Digital Authority, smart technology is taking over every aspect of the consumer environment. We can already see this in healthcare where smart devices are used to monitor patients and extract data that can help with decision making.
But that’s just part of the story because smart tech and healthcare are the perfect fit.
Smart devices can detect improvement or deterioration and sense the emergence of various complications. The speed at which AI can assess and use data is especially beneficial for an industry in which time and data can prevent and treat diseases.
To be more precise, AI has the ability to interpret critical information in a short space of time and this is often something a human might not be able to do. These smart devices can then inform or alert staff accordingly to ensure patients get the best possible care.
5. Identifying Risks and Population Health Management
According to Digital Authority Partners, healthcare companies can use artificial intelligence to aggregate patient information in order to identify risk. This means AI can prevent risk and determine how environmental and behavioral factors affect people in the wider population. This is the bigger picture for AI and likely the tip of the iceberg for its’ future role in healthcare.
Predictive analytics can also be extracted from the above process and enable healthcare providers to identify even more patterns and risks at an early stage. Further, exam findings are more powerful when combined with diagnostic data and often reveal insights upon which clinicians can take action or provide treatment.
AI is reshaping the healthcare industry and improving the speed at which important decisions are made. Artificial intelligence is also more accurate than any human and capable of analyzing huge amounts of data to identify risks, patterns, and other issues.
At the same time as providing insights, AI allows trained healthcare staff to focus on other important matters. Workflows also benefit from artificial intelligence and smart devices help extract and use this data to advance the healthcare industry in general.
But what about the ethical challenges posed by AI in healthcare? It’s important to continue that discussion. Yet, AI is already saving lives and we can only unlock its’ true potential by embracing the role of machines and computer programs in healthcare.