Artificial intelligence is poised to make a major impact on healthcare and healthcare technology. Investment in the healthcare AI sector alone is predicted to reach $6.6 billion by 2021. By 2026, that number will balloon $150 billion. And there’s no doubt about the transformative power of artificial intelligence, however, in terms of healthcare, its restorative effects are truly life changing.
Today, there’s a term in healthcare called the “iron triangle.” The iron triangle refers to three combined factors that can have negatives trade offs: affordability, access, and effectiveness. Though closely interlocked, improving one area without neglecting another is very difficult—even in modern times. With AI, the healthcare is much better equipped to tackle these conundrums. Here’s how artificial intelligence will impact the future of healthcare tech:
One of the biggest benefits of AI in healthcare is the ability to predict potential issues and eradicate them before they become too serious. Machine learning is a major part of prevention intervention. With machine learning, computer systems are handed data and use statistical techniques to identify patterns over time and “learn” more about the information it processes. Doctors can use these targeted analytics to make more accurate diagnosis, spot potential issues before they arise, assess risks, and offer better treatment plans.
Artificial intelligence will also help first responders make quick judgement calls about potential injuries. Take vehicle accidents, for example. Unfortunately, many crash-related deaths are the direct result of a misdiagnosis. But with advanced machine learning, technology can assist responders in making fast decisions directly at the scene of an accident.
“We’ve seen artificial intelligence in a variety of industries, and healthcare is no different,” said the Barnes Firm, an accident injury lawyer. “In fact, by employing AI in the vehicles, it can help reduce the number of accidents we see on the road. But in the event that someone is hurt, current AI in healthcare could speed up recovery times and reduce the risk of human error. Although, machine learning will always lack human sentiment which can help with preventative measures as well.”
To better understand this, consider what happens at the scene of a car accident. Many factors play a role; artificial intelligence technology will analyze speed, the angle of impact, positioning, and other key data points to determine possible injuries. In the future, first responders will be able to receive this data before they even arrive on the scene, ensuring they are properly equipped to help a patient as soon as possible.
Automated Operations and Precision Surgery
Automated operations with precision surgery will help increase the rate of successful surgeries. Artificial intelligence in robotics will not replace human doctors, but will help assist them in phenomenal ways. For instance, these robots will be able to make much smaller and more precise incisions, decreasing the amount of blood loss and increasing the effectiveness of surgery. The AI bots are also able to take on a much heavier physical burden during surgeries that require extensive hours of care that take a major toll on doctor’s bodies.
So far, using robots in surgery has only been delegated to a handful of specialties, however, in the future, we can expect more of a roll out, particularly as technology evolves and costs drive down. While many doctors are concerned they will be replaced with robots, the truth is that the surgeon’s job is one of the least likely to be automated; rather, they will control what needs to be done, oversee operations, assist and intervene when necessary, and complete various other tasks as seen fit. A robot will not be rolling a patient into the ER and taking over with no human interaction.
Addressing Administrative Cost-Structure
Better administrative workflow assistance will help address the cost-structure problem in healthcare. A major part of this lies in eliminating the major time-consuming manual tasks that the administrative side undertakes. Transferring some of those tasks to machines will reduce the amount of human labor required to keep larger amounts of people happier and healthier. With streamlined AI assistance on the administrative side, healthcare companies will be able to transition their human manpower to other, more pressing areas.