With vibrant technological development, the healthcare industry has been evolving rapidly. Modern medical equipment and procedures are much different from what they were some 20 years ago. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have significantly contributed to the changes, and are likely to influence the industry even more in the near future.
Statistics confirm the tendency, as revenue from the global artificial intelligence market is exploding: it has tripled since 2016 and is predicted to reach $60 billion by 2025.
Figure 1. Revenues from the global artificial intelligence market, from 2016 to 2025 (in million US dollars)
However, one survey figures that AI is still a low priority for approximately two-thirds of polled companies, as they do not currently get enough value from AI.
Nevertheless, artificial intelligence in healthcare is gaining traction, and medical institutions are applying it for a variety of purposes. Let’s check how artificial intelligence is advancing healthcare and what areas of medicine will make the heaviest use of AI in 2018.
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Clinical Decision Support
Research by the Center for Connected Medicine and the Health Management Academy has revealed that clinical decision support is and will be the top AI use case for medical institutions. AI algorithms help significantly streamline and accelerate diagnosing performed on behalf of physicians.
Indeed, diagnosing activities take up a lot of physicians’ time: they need to examine patient medical records, check lab results, analyze this information and write prescriptions. Unlike humans, AI-based solutions can process large quantities of data within a short time to improve diagnosing quality and speed. Specific AI-powered procedures establish efficient communication between medical personnel and patient health records while relying on clinical practice guidelines in a real-time manner. It also helps consider conditions that humans may overlook.
That is why 54% of leading healthcare organizations expect that AI in diagnosing will gain momentum within the next five years. Also, the majority of organizations thinks that artificial intelligence together with Big Data will revolutionize medical decision-making as the technology based on the analysis of genetics, lifestyle and environment.
AI not only streamlines diagnosing but also helps radiologists analyze X-ray, CT and MRI pictures. While the application of various visualization methods is progressively spreading, radiation therapists face a growing scope of work, which can lead to the overlooking of critical data and result in wrong opinions. Misinterpretations happen in 4% of radiology diagnoses, which can negatively affect the patients’ condition and even pose a threat to their health and their life.
Artificial intelligence in medicine relies on a myriad of previous medical images, allowing it to create various use cases by applying image processing. It enables more efficient and faster diagnosing, which is especially important in a well-timed disclosing of serious diseases.
It has been quite a while since surgeons began involving robots into operative treatment procedures to improve their efficiency and enhance human capabilities. Recently, AI-powered robotics have embraced more routine patient management activities, such as the following:
- Nursing. Nowadays, nurses perform a wide variety of tasks, such as drawing blood and taking other samples, vital sign monitoring, treatment procedure undertaking and other. Quite often, these duties are quite time-consuming, resulting in negative communication experience between patients and nurses. Modern robot machines can do some of the tasks, which will soon alleviate nurses’ duties and encourage them to give more attention to their patients.
- Patient communication. Robots are involved not only in medical procedures but also in communication between patients and caregivers. Robots such as those produced by Anybots eliminate the need for regular meetings as machines help patients and caregivers to communicate remotely, via videoconferences.
- Physical assistance. Robots also facilitate medical tasks that concern patient care, which includes lifting recumbent patients to change a bed or feeding people with disabilities. Some robots are specially created to nurse the blind, the elderly, the paraplegics and other patients. Artificial intelligence even powers exoskeletons that allow people with paralysis to walk.
AI algorithms not only improve numerous medical operations, but also streamline the administering of medicine. Soon, ATM-like pharma dispensers will allow patients to get their medication in a more convenient manner.
However, drug availability is not the only reason why these devices will come into general use. AI-powered mechanisms base their prescriptions on patients’ genomic profiles, which make them much more accurate than a human pharmacist. Also, smart algorithms help eliminate the human factor and significantly improve disease management and treatment.
In addition to the fact that artificial intelligence helps patients and caregivers, the medical insurance business can also benefit from AI. In this industry, much depends on the accuracy of patient clinical record analytics, which is why data processing should be entrusted to smart algorithms.
AI-based systems analyze applicant data in a more efficient way than humans do: machines can handle more cases in unit time while covering more dimensions in lifestyles and behavior. This may significantly impact suggested insurance rates.
However, there is another concern that is much more valuable than the cost: AI-based systems explore some vital behavioral patterns and help people improve them. For example, a Zendrive app analyzes road traffic to enhance safety and help drivers improve their driving behavior to prevent dangerous and life-threatening situations.
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Artificial intelligence raises living standards and improves patient conditions with the help of mobile devices. It is not only fitness- and wellness-related applications that smartphones can offer to their users. AI powers efficient mobile applications that help prevent dangerous health conditions, such as depression or other diseases.
The software keeps the track of a user’s vital signs, and then powerful AI algorithms analyze any changes and determine possible outcomes. They alert attending doctors about malignant condition changes, which allows taking remediation measures in a timely manner.
Also, mobile medical applications of artificial intelligence facilitate hospital routines as they allow users to visit hospitals less often, while physicians are always aware of their patients’ conditions.
Advance Your Healthcare Services with AI
Although artificial intelligence adoption in healthcare is just gathering its pace, an increasing number of caregivers have arrived at the understanding that the technology will soon play a critical part in multiple medical procedures. Yet today, in 2018, AI innovations are already present in healthcare in a number of ways: AI enhances diagnostics, improves image processing, streamlines medicine administering and facilitates decision-making in insurance. Also, robots help medical staff and patients in performing their activities, while mobile applications improve the communication between patients and their attending physicians, as well as facilitate disease treatment.
SaM Solutions recommends implementing AI-powered technologies as soon as possible, as it will allow you to get a competitive edge. However, the safety and quality of software is a prerequisite, especially when it comes to healthcare, which is why companies should choose a reliable and experienced software development partner.