Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most revolutionary technologies our society has seen in a while. There is a huge potential lying in this technology, so it’s not a surprise it brought countless benefits to various industries. One of the industries that are making the most of AI and implementing it to improve numerous aspects is the healthcare industry.
Today’s doctors have an enormous amount of data about their patients. With AI, this data can be used to enhance healthcare services, doctor-patient relationships, treatments, and research. Also, with AI, doctors and nurses can reduce manual work and focus more on their patients by providing them with more accurate service. If we add Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to AI, it can truly do wonders for healthcare systems around the world. There are three areas of medicine which are strongly benefiting from the AI usage right now – Cardiology, Neurology, and Oncology.
Overview of AI in healthcare
According to Accenture, AI applications in this industry can save up to $150 billion dollars per year only in the US. This money can be used to purchase better equipment or invest in doctors’ education. In other words, AI is definitely the game changer not only in the US healthcare industry but on the global level as well.
When talking about the biggest benefit this technology brings into the healthcare industry, cutting down the number of medical errors is what both patients and doctors are looking forward to. Treating patients will become more accurate as doctors will have a better overview of the patient’s condition which will allow them to provide adequate treatment.
Medical imaging diagnosing
With intelligence in the radiology images – CT, X-rays, MRI machines, doctors will be able to provide a more in-depth diagnosis. Without AI, they had to rely on other methods to make decisions about their patient’s condition as these methods were not enough by themselves. As many doctors have already pointed out this level of uncertainty when treating based on the radiology images, the medical community is enthusiastically embracing AI which provides accurate inputs on the patient’s body. In radiology, AI can sift through various diagnostic images and look for anomalies. It can also understand the difference between cancerous and non-cancerous cells. This allows radiologists to take a closer look at the problem and make a better conclusion on the treatment their patients need.
Virtual health assistance
With Virtual Assistant, the level of patient engagement will be much higher and it’s expected to grow in the future. Patients can now own health monitors and other devices with AI technology to monitor their own health condition e.g. Smartwatches, Health mobile apps, Smart bracelets, etc. Thanks to AI being implemented in such products, patients can now be reminded to take their medication on time, get medical advice when they have common complaints, get nutritional advice based on their diet, etc. Technology is enabling people to become more active in preserving their health. By making it as simple as possible for the people to take care of themselves, the trend of smart wearables will only continue to grow. The number of wearable devices is expected to reach over 1,1 billion in 2022.
In the healthcare industry, Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular. We’ve used to see them with countless companies, but not as much on hospital websites. But, that’s also changing as it allows patients to get emergency medical help, discuss symptoms and other health-related topics. These chatbots can understand your inquiry and provide an informative answer, however, they will never replace doctors. This type of interaction is useful when a patient needs a quick answer on something which doesn’t require to go visit a doctor. In cases where you need a professional medical opinion, you shouldn’t replace it with a chat interaction. By 2025, it’s expected the global chatbot market will reach over one billion dollars and healthcare will surely be a huge part of it.
Robots in medicine
Something that seemed as a faraway future is actually happening right now. Robots have entered the healthcare world and are assisting doctors while performing surgeries. As much as it might seem terrifying to have a robot next to you while preparing for surgery, keep in mind their technical brilliance will positively affect the outcome of your surgery. This is an excellent solution for surgeries that require a high level of precision, accuracy, and steadiness. In other words, robots are actually partners to the doctors, they will never fully replace them. With robotic assistance, patients will be enjoying better treatment before, during and after their surgeries. As these solutions are still very expensive, between 1,5 and 2 million dollars, not many patients can say they’ve been operated by the help of a robot. At least, not for now.
Artificial Intelligence is definitely improving the healthcare industry. From predictive medical care and more accurate diagnosis to motivating the patients to take care of their health, AI will certainly continue enhancing the patient experience and healthcare expertise in general.