Artificial Intelligence, or simply AI, is one of the most discussed breakthroughs in the field of technology. And although it is not completely here yet, global tech giants don’t stop the race and keep working toward developing a full-fledged AI. But, even at this stage, we can already see the first applications of this technology in various fields, one of which is healthcare.
Over the past years, advanced technologies like AI and Machine Learning have taken the entire medical industry to a whole new level. As more and more tech tools integrate into healthcare, the industry transforms for the better.
In this article, we are going to tell you more about this technology and the potential it already has for the healthcare industry. Let’s dive in!
What Is AI and How It Can Benefit Medicine?
Before we move on to the uses of AI, it’s vital that you understand what it actually is. In a nutshell, Artificial Intelligence (AI) spans a wide range of branches of computer science with the goal of building a smart machine that can perform complex tasks that typically require human intervention.
Thanks to its wide-ranging nature, AI has many potential uses in virtually any sphere, not excluding medicine. In the medical field, this technology can have multiple benefits, including:
- Streamlining daily operations;
- Information sharing;
- Better decision-making, etc.
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Now, let’s move on to the most interesting part. With the application of AI, the medical sphere has the potential to become more affordable, efficient, and yet offer better patient experiences. So, how can it be used? Below, we are going to tell you about four real-life examples of the application of AI in healthcare.
Smart Healthcare Apps
One of the most common examples of the application of AI in the healthcare sector is the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), widely incorporated in smart applications designed to help consumers stay healthy.
The leading systems like iOS and Android already offer a wide variety of healthcare apps for their users. These apps have different purposes. Yet, one feature they share is the integrated AI that assists users in real-time by providing personalized healthcare tips.
One way AI can significantly improve the quality of healthcare is by improving the accuracy of early detection of certain diseases and speeding up the clinical judgment process. In fact, this technology is already used for these purposes.
One of the first proofs of successful application of Artificial Intelligence for clinical judgment and diagnosis was reported by one study published by Stanford University in 2017. According to the study, AI algorithms successfully detected skin cancer against the diagnosis provided by 21 professional dermatologists.
Another evidence of successful use was provided by Google. The company’s DeepMind technology trained a neural network to analyze 3D retinal scans to detect over 50 different types of eye diseases.
These are just a couple of the many real-life examples. All in all, specialists predict that AI can speed up the analysis and diagnosis processes up to 30 times and guarantee 99% accuracy. Now, imagine combining this with the professionalism and experience of physicians, and you will have a much higher success rate in the accuracy of disease detection.
New Drug Creation
For decades, drug discovery has been a complex process. It takes years or even decades of research and billions of dollars of investment to get only to clinical trials, not to mention that only 5 in 5,000 newly discovered drugs get to human testing.
The application of AI can change the situation significantly. This technology can speed up the process, minimize the cost, and also help with drug repurposing. And the best part is that artificial intelligence can ensure much higher accuracy and reproducibility of a new drug.
Currently, some pharmaceutical giants like Genentech and Pfizer are already integrating AI to drive their discovery programs of an oncology drug. So, here we have one more real-life example of the use of this technology in the healthcare sphere.
The concept of AI-assisted surgery is still in its infancy in terms of real-life practice. However, it is believed that it can have enormous potential in terms of improving and streamlining surgical performance and also boosting accuracy.
According to experts, AI-powered robots can work in tandem with experienced surgeons to perform some basic operations, such as cutting or stitching and ensuring more precision.
In terms of practice, as we said earlier, this concept is still evolving. However, in 2017, we witnessed the first example of the use of AI-powered robots used by surgeons at the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Surgeons used this technology for structuring too narrow blood vessels. And we believe that more examples are yet to come.
The Bottom Line
The four examples we discussed in this article are by far not all ways how specialists from the medical industry can leverage the benefits offered by artificial intelligence. The use of this technology in healthcare is now growing in leaps and bounds, so we expect that much more is yet to come!