The need for superior healthcare services has paved the way for AI-based innovations and integration in the healthcare practice. Not only that, it also helps to ease the burden on healthcare workers and professionals without compromising on the quality of care given to patients. Is AI the future of the healthcare industry? Find out more about how this technology evolves and ways in which it will improve the industry.
Types of AI in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had its beginning with the business and commercial sector. Recently, it has a growing application in the healthcare industry. It promises to transform many aspects of providing patient care, as well as the administrative aspects of the healthcare industry.
There are several types of AI technologies being used in or has potential relevance in the healthcare field.
This is one of the most common forms of AI that is currently in use. It employs statistics to data and uses a model for the machine to “learn”. In the healthcare field, the use of machine learning is to accurately predict treatment protocols for patients based on attributes and context of diagnosis. It uses a set of variables and associates that with historical data to make the most accurate judgment.
There are many levels to machine learning and their applications in the healthcare field vary greatly. It is mostly used in diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases.
Natural Language Processing
Natural language processing in terms of AI refers to the text analysis, speech recognition, translation, and other functions that relate to the human language. It can be categorized as either statistical or semantic. It is a crucial technology being used in the healthcare sector to understand, create, and process documents, along with published research. It is also utilized when making clinical notes and transcribing patient records.
Robotic Process Automation
Automation of tasks is one of the most beneficial applications of AI technology in the field of healthcare. It is currently being used to perform digital administrative tasks rather than having human personnel handle it (which can be more time-consuming). Instead, humans are utilized in the core aspect of the healthcare service and automating the repetitive tasks.
In order for robotic process automation to work, it requires proper integration of information systems and a good workflow.
The use of robots is no longer just a thing of the future: it is now being utilized in the healthcare industry. Physical robots in healthcare are used for predefined tasks such as assembling objects or equipment, lifting objects, or repositioning them. They are typically used in handling hospital supplies and equipment for higher efficiency.
However, these physical robots are embedded with ‘brains’ that provide them enhanced capabilities to perform these tasks with utmost efficiency. Surgical robots are also now being considered for common surgical procedures.
Keys to Successful AI Implementation
Understanding and knowing about the different AI technologies that are available to healthcare workers is not enough. Proper AI implementation is vital in order to properly integrate this technology for it effectively overcome existing challenges faced by healthcare professionals.
The most important step to the successful implementation of this technology is through education. All individuals and healthcare professionals tasked at handling these technologies must be fully informed in order to capitalize on their capabilities.
When it comes to the implementation of AI tools in the healthcare field, the approach needs to be flexible. It is important to make adjustments as to how and what tools are integrated based on the needs of patients and the entailing risks.
After all, AI tools must be used to enhance the capabilities of human healthcare workers, not replace them. Since this technology is still evolving, there is a huge possibility for machine error, which is unacceptable in the healthcare industry.
Current AI Applications in Healthcare
The different types of AI technology available to the healthcare industry have seen numerous applications in real-life situations. One example is that machine learning technology is being used in Cambridge, Massachusetts to accurately diagnose cancer, as well as in developing personalized treatment protocols for each patient. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – the teaching hospital for Harvard University – has utilized AI in the diagnosis of deadly blood diseases during the early stage. According to their implementation of said technology, it has a 95% accuracy rating.
Another application for AI technology is as an intelligent symptom checker. It uses algorithms in order to analyze symptoms and perform a diagnosis. Harvard Medical School is one of those that utilize this technology for this particular purpose. In Israel, the use of AI-powered radiology assistants has sped up the analysis of various clinical findings, in particular imaging scans.
The use of AI is not just limited in the analysis of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment recommendation. It is widely used in developing new medicines, too. From new medicines for rare diseases to cloud-based digital drug discovery, there are multiple possibilities in the field of healthcare with AI technology.