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Technology

Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare Industry

AI applications in healthcare can create $150 billion dollars in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026
Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare Industry
Image credit: Shutterstock
Group head, Virinchi Hospital
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The milestones achieved by Artificial Intelligence have the world on its toes. Apart from all the industries, it has been touching, the modern healthcare industry has been receiving paramount importance. There has been an exemplary shift in the way patients are diagnosed by doctors because they now have a good amount of actionable data that can be put to good use.

AI is the game changer in the healthcare industry. As per the reports by Frost & Sullivan, the consulting firm, the healthcare AI market is likely to experience a compound annual growth rate of 40per cent by 2021, and it can change healthcare outcomes by 30-40per cent and cut treatment costs in half.

According to an analysis conducted by Accenture, AI applications in healthcare can create $150 billion dollars in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026.

How AI is Changing Healthcare

The decisions made by medical practitioners can now be augmented by the extra layer of AI over the data. Training the code using this data reduces the likelihood of errors in the field of healthcare.

1. Electronic Health Records

Electronic Health Records are basically digital patient chart including information from multiple hospital encounters contained in an account which can be accessed across hospitals and facilities. EHR has all information including the disease, type of medicine and tests prescribed, results of the tests etc. Most of this data is fed manually at some point in time. But we can change it using AI by doing data extraction from free text (documents) using AI. We can also capture the clinical data by natural language processing.

2. Medical Imaging Diagnostics

AI plays a major role in enabling intelligence in the radiology images obtained through scanning machines. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs tells us about the body’s inner workings. The diagnostic imaging team, the pathologist and the doctors can reach a unanimous decision on the mode of treatment, and the chances of overcoming hurdles are very high. By making use of deep learning algorithms, it is now possible to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous cells in a much more precise way.

The radiologists and surgeons can now zoom into the problem, and study accurately, and do something more than what the human eyes could do.

3. Virtual Health Assistance

It is likely to increase patient engagement to the next level through Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) and Medical Virtual Assistant (MVA). Today medical support has gone beyond wearables by advising patients to not just handle their goals, but also to actually assist them look after their health like a real assistant would such as medication reminders, provide medical advice for common ailments or complaints, suggest diet and eating habits, reminder for medication refill, remind doctor appointments and manage bookings, allow virtual interaction with doctors, chatbots to provide primary health and many such.

4. Robotic Assistance

The AI assistant can immediately deliver information on the patient’s past and present health and make recommendations that would help in the diagnosis. Surgeries have become minimally invasive techniques whereby hospital stay is considerably reduced, and thereby recovery of the patient. There are surgical bots that make use of computer vision to do surgeries after calculating the measurements of the human body precisely.

And the best part of all, the AI-assisted equipment monitor the patients and their health levels, after the doctors, nurses and caretakers have gone to rest or sleep. Human limitations will never be a problem in generating a commendable patient outcome.

5. Proactive Medical Care

In conventional medical treatment, the drift was to treat the patient after the disease is identified. Now with AI, reactive medical care became proactive medical care. In this kind of care, the patient’s comprehensive medical history is studied and high-risk markers for several diseases are emphasized. At risk, patients are then monitored for any variation in their conditions, and if anything seems alarming, the app can suggest medical intervention.

Benefits of Incorporating AI in Healthcare

Predictive Medical Care- A developing treatment model wherein the patient data is reviewed constantly to check for any anomalies, trailed by suggestions of medical intervention.

Personalized Medication - AI makes it likely for patients to have custom-made care based on their body composition and past medical history.

Better Diagnosis - Fast research and cross-referencing of data lead to improved diagnosis of diseases. The data also comprises handwritten notes, geospatial and sensor data and test results. Environment (both human and natural) influences are also considered.

Advanced treatment plans - New treatment means are generated and familiarized, including robotic surgery, cell biology, eye drops to dissolve cataracts instead of eye surgeries, wound healing by printing skin cells, 3D printing, artificial pancreas to balance blood glucose levels and administer insulin, and many such.

Non-stop monitoring - Uninterrupted monitoring of patients would make sure of timely care and treatment and even reduced hospital stay for the patients. The AI based app can check for the patient’s health and important signs in case of critically sick patients before notifying for medical intervention.

Economical for both patient and medical care provider - AI can make healthcare both effective and inexpensive as it helps in guiding treatment choice, making a precise diagnosis, helps the patients in taking better decisions concerning their health and makes important decisions in drug development.

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