Guest post by Ripal Vyas, president, Softweb Solutions Inc.
The healthcare sector is one of those that has always embraced emerging technologies to make better use of technological innovations. And now artificial intelligence (AI) is gradually making its way into the healthcare market with all its power to disrupt.
The annual investment in artificial intelligence for healthcare will grow tenfold in the next five years, becoming a $6 billion industry by 2021 – estimates Frost & Sullivan. They have also forecasted that by 2025, AI systems could be involved in everything from population health management to digital avatars capable of answering specific patient queries.
In healthcare, the opportunity for AI is not just limited to making doctors and medical providers more competent in their work; in fact, it’s about saving lives and making the lives of the patients better. Whether it is for improving the standard of treatment, patient outcomes, healthful behavior, new drug development, weight loss advice or cost reduction, the possibilities of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry are enormous.
Six amazing use cases of artificial intelligence in healthcare sector:
AI for effective treatment
Although, healthcare generates a huge amount of data due to record keeping, patient care, and compliance & regulatory requirements, it struggles to efficiently utilize the flood of data and convert it into useful insights to improve the value of care. Artificial intelligence helps in making sense of the huge data streams gathered from hospitals and health IT systems by identifying the relationships and patterns between patients, symptoms, and more to provide the right treatment at the right time.
AI for the patient’s caregivers
A lot of modern healthcare providers have adopted AI-driven apps for scanning the findings of a patient’s laboratory tests, as well as drug orders, and sending relevant updates, alerts, and reminders to patients. This application interacts with patients just as a human would to understand the mental condition of the patient and have an impact on monitoring patients when clinicians are not available. For example, AiCure is a clinically authenticated artificial intelligence platform that visually confirms whether the patient has consumed the prescribed medicines on time.
AI for smart drug development
According to figures from a Tufts University study and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, developing a new drug costs an average of nearly $2.6 billion and can take as long as 14 years. This lengthy process covers identifying the demographic information, multi-gene interaction, proteins, environmental effects, optimizing the molecule for effective delivery to patients, carrying out clinical trials, drug efficacy testing and more. The latest innovations in AI can greatly aid in converting a drug discovery idea from initial inception to a market-ready product rapidly by predicting the therapeutic use of new drugs before they are put to test. This might sound like a small thing to some, however, for researchers it a huge one, who otherwise would have to make these predictions after conducting various tedious experiments. For example, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are using IBM Watson to discover new targets for FDA approved drugs.
AI for self-care with healthcare bot
The AI-driven bots for healthcare use advanced interactive diagnostic symptom checker, natural language processing and learn from previous interactions. It enhances the digital healthcare experiences of patients by offering them conversational and personalized engagement. With the help of a healthcare chatbot, patients can have easy access to support even after business hours, have secured communication when needed, and have greater control on their health and wellness updates. These conversational agents also leverage information from relevant industry data sources such as WHO, NHS, CDC, and NIH databases to offer more relevant responses. For example, bots like HealthTap or Your.Md are virtual doctors who help people in finding a solution to common symptoms using AI.
AI for digital diagnosis
Doctors have to go through a huge volume of research results, clinical trials, and medical records to diagnose disease along with the existing symptoms which isn’t an easy task and many a time error-prone. On the other hand, an AI-based system can be used to remove the irrelevant data and help the doctor to focus just on the vital data. Moreover, doctor’s efforts will be greatly supported, especially when conducting differential diagnosis and evidence-based treatment and precision medicine practice using artificial intelligence with IBM’s Watson.
AI for physical fitness
With artificial intelligence integrated into wearables such as shoes, bands, watches and headsets you can analyze your body movements in real-time, during running, cycling, swimming, cardio boxing and various other workouts.
The final say
Artificial intelligence is already serving as a key catalyst in revolutionizing the healthcare industry with positive results. Whether it is a voice-based medical intelligence system for remotely monitoring a patient, or diagnosing disease symptoms, or sending alerts for medical appointments and medications and more.