Guest post by Dhiren Patel, Digital Health Informer.
Being born with a heart condition I have had a chance to see how healthcare has evolved or stagnated in innovation because of inherent risk to the bottom line. Reducing revenue, patient risk and pressure from big pharma and insurance has kept the status quo. It’s crazy to think that we can order food from our phones and yet can’t even schedule our appointments online at most physicians offices and hospitals. We have the most expensive and least effective healthcare system in the world, it’s broken so we need to fix it.
There is a lack of technology in healthcare as a whole. Think about when you go into a doctor’s office and you tell them what’s wrong or if you go to a hospital and nurses are tracking your symptoms, they still write it on a piece of paper at most hospitals and physicians offices! Well, what happens when the nurse or doctor can’t read what’s been written or worse what if that paper gets lost. To put that in perspective, hospital errors are the number three leading cause of death in the U.S.
Where there is some technology it is often difficult to use and is not standardized so if you go to an emergency room that doctor will likely have to spend time trying to get your primary care doctor on the phone to better understand how to care for you. It’s happened to me before, the ER doctors spent hours trying to track down my cardiologist to get a rundown on what medications or tests need to be run on me, all the while I was lying there in pain waiting for care. Standardization of basic medical protocols needs to happen. Even better, a shared database of all the different medical protocols and AI can run through to find the right match or machine learning like autocorrect and predictive typing on your phone.
Too much data
Today’s doctor and healthcare providers receive copious amounts of data, whether that’s from your daily activity data, your daily measurements, data from scans, DNA testing data, etc., that they must go through in order to properly diagnose a patient. Sometimes there’s too much data for the doctors to consider and so they cut bait with some of it to rank all the clutter. On top of all that data they are looking into a system to find how that data correlates with your back pain, sleep issues and whatever another symptom you are looking at then finding the proper medication for you. All of this takes time away from the doctor to properly develop a relationship with the patient and better diagnose patients problems. Let’s dive into how machine learning and AI’s can help with this.
Artificial intelligence can discern trends from large data sets
There is the ton of data about your health and history how it correlates to data and symptoms of certain conditions and you can’t reasonably expect doctors to have memorized those. An AI can sweep through data sets within minutes and look at data for certain symptoms across as many resources it has access to as well as how it correlates with the patient’s own medical history or certain genomic factors. This can provide the doctor a smaller segmented list of conditions that could be plausible as well as the possible medications for each and/or nutritional recommendations. From that, the doctors freed up to use his expertise and training to properly diagnose a patient’s condition and recognize a rare disease before it’s too late. Maybe this patient needs to be more active and does not eat a nutritious diet or based on how he/she works out the pain he’s feeling he/she may have a pinched nerve. These are tools to help doctors not replace them, the human touch is an important part of the relationship between a doctor and a patient.
AI is already beginning to play a role in improving healthcare outcomes, lower costs and prediction outcomes.
Your personal AI
With Google home, Amazon Alexa, Siri and Cortona we see how we can interact with AI”s on a daily level and how they serve as Assistant to make our lives easier. As healthcare App’s move forward they’ll have to develop an API for these services the possibilities are endless. The potential for a personal AI to help you better your health and serve as a preventive measure as well as a behavioral tool for positive lifestyle change is endless. Imagine walking up and the AI ask’s you if have gone for your morning run and when your back it puts a recipe for a healthy breakfast the refrigerator monitor. This simplifies and reduces barriers to make those changes so that you have more time to actually make the meal and less time worrying about what I am going to eat to stay healthy or maintain my diet. The possibilities are endless.