The healthcare industry has made significant strides over the last few years. None have been quite as interesting as the application of artificial intelligence.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the new solutions in the healthcare industry. We’ll focus on the AI solutions that can change the way that the healthcare industry operates.
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Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare Industry
According to researchers, AI will improve productivity and performance between 10% and 15% in the next couple of years.
How AI Will Improve Productivity
AI will improve productivity in several ways. Let’s go through what some of those are.
Able to Process Huge Amounts of Data
If you were to guess, how many medical texts and studies would you say there were? You might have guessed thousands. Think again. The number is closer to millions or hundreds of millions. We’re a society that conducts a lot of scientific research.
We have a wealth of information to draw upon, and that brings its own challenges. Our medical professionals make their diagnosis based on the information that they have available to them. That includes their training and any studies that they may have read.
They could conduct further research into the symptoms, but their time’s limited. In the end, they make their diagnosis with limited data.
AI can change that because it can scan through millions of texts in minutes. It can then find conditions that best match the combination of symptoms. The doctor would then need to read through the recommendations, but it’d save a significant amount of time.
Moreover, AI can suggest treatment regimens. So, in addition to more accurate diagnoses, we’re looking at a more effective treatment regimen.
Monitoring and Dispensing
Smart pills have AI built into them. The versions that we have today are still fairly simple. The primary function for most at the moment is to ensure that the patient takes their medication.
In the future, though, we could see smart pills with the ability to dispense medication. Take a condition like diabetes, for example. It’s a condition that’s relatively easy to control, as long as the patient is conscientious about the dosage.
A smart pill could change the game. A person with diabetes might take a pill just once or twice a day. The AI in the pill could control the release of the active ingredients at set intervals.
But why stop there?
Why not program a smart pill with an emergency dose of insulin? If the sensor picks up dangerous spikes in blood glucose, it could dispense the emergency supply.
AI Makes Telemedical Treatments Possible
When you go to your doctor, they usually:
- Check your pulse.
- Take your temperature.
- Listen to your breathing.
- Examine your nose and throat.
It’s a schlep to go to the doctor when you’re feeling ill, but what choice do you have?
AI and wearable medical devices might prove useful here.
Most of us do have experience with wearable medical devices. Your Fitbit falls under this category. Going forward, expect these devices to be able to do more than just check your pulse.
Perhaps we’ll have a biochip implanted. These would forward information like your temperature, pulse, hormone levels, and so on to your doctor.
The AI in these devices could alert you that it’s time to visit your doctor. You could simply set up a Skype appointment with him and work from there. This technology could make it possible to consult with specialists across the globe.
AI Could Identify Patterns That Indicate Risk
A heart attack may seem to strike out of the blue, but there are usually warning signs that build in the weeks leading up to it. Wearable devices that incorporate AI, or connect to an AI monitoring system, could pick up these signs.
Patients would be prompted to seek emergency medical treatment, and so disaster might be prevented.
Could AI Come Up With Innovative Treatment Protocols?
Now we’re heading into the realm of sci-fi for a minute. AI at this point is probably not yet capable of coming up with an entirely novel treatment approach. That’s not to say, though, that this won’t happen in the future.
At the very least, AI will speed the review of previous research on the matter. As the machine can work 24/7, testing procedures might also be condensed. We could see AI making a real impact on the health of the human race as a whole.
AI is already improving productivity in healthcare. In this post, we’ve looked at some applications of machine learning in medicine. How far will things go? That’ll be fascinating to find out.
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