Healthcare has undergone consistent changes. From surgeries that were conducted by sedating patients with opium and amputation of an infected part, the technology has evolved to anesthesia and new & innovative ways of treating bacterial infection. We can now conduct LASIK surgeries and have even healed conjoined twins from the head.
With so much advancement, it was collateral that AI will be adopted in healthcare in a skip of a heartbeat with numerous other innovations, and here we are.
In this article, we will be talking about two novel disruptive technologies that have become a norm i.e. AI-powered health monitoring and remote patient management. Therefore, without wasting any time, let’s jump on the topic right away…
The need for AI and remote care in healthcare
Health is a crucial aspect of everyone’s life. There are primarily two aspects that affect the provision of healthcare i.e. affordability and reach. With the inclusion of artificial intelligence in healthcare, the capacity of patients to monitor and self-diagnose their health has become possible. Previously, the patients were either left on the behest of word of mouth from their knows ones or Google (which is not always a credible source).
The majority of AI-based tools that are available in today’s day and age are trained over substantial medical data. This makes them a capable support for anyone looking to assess their health. Adding to it, these tools provide complete insights from chronic diseases to mental health apps to cure and provide consultation for issues like stress, depression, anxiety, etc. This has not only helped in increasing the reach of healthcare but has also provided multiple options for affordability.
Adding to it, as the internet became more mainstream, the possibility of reducing the distance b/w the patient and doctor also became a reality. Right now, there are several platforms that allow patients to consult doctors at any time of the day, and from any location.
What is AI-powered health monitoring?
Health Monitoring as the name suggests is the continuous monitoring of a patient’s health under care or an ongoing treatment using AI-powered technologies. Once AI is brought into the picture, the data is collected via health devices such as smartphones, wearables, smart watches, etc.
With AI-powered health monitoring, all the relevant health data is collected. And all the additional data from the sensors is neglected. This paints an entire picture of the patient’s health and helps the doctor to identify any improvements or setbacks.
Here are some examples of AI-powered health monitoring:
- WebMD – This application’s AI assesses the symptoms provided as input from users and helps in the identification of diseases.
- Babylon – Babylon is an application that is used for health assistance and telehealth.
- Symptomate – The app uses its AI system to assess the patient’s overall health via inputs and helps them with diagnoses.
There are many more applications that belong to this niche. These apps enable any person to monitor their health and self-diagnose much more accurately, directly from their smart devices. From scheduling to medication, and diagnoses, this help cover multiple aspects of personal healthcare.
What is remote patient management?
Remote patient management is utilized while managing patient health from a distance. It is also commonly known as Telehealth. This enables patients to consult doctors who are not available in the nearby vicinity. It opens up multiple options for both patients to consult experts in their field along with doctors to provide care and consultation regardless of the situation. In fact, this is being used in full effect for multiple chronic diseases.
Some of the diseases for which remote patient management can be used are:
- High Blood Pressure
- Sleep Apnea
Remote patient management often requires simple medical devices such as weighing scales, and blood glucose meters, to more complicated devices such as heart rate monitors, breathing apparatus, etc. depending upon the intensity of the disease.
Impact of AI-powered health monitoring and remote patient management
The inclusion of both AI-powered health monitoring and remote patient management has significantly impacted patient care as well as care delivery. It has been revolutionizing where the majority of people have access to healthcare any time of the hour. Below are some of the key impacts that happened post the transition.
1. Early detection of diseases
The AI algorithms used by the AI healthcare tools as mentioned earlier undergo significant medical data. This data includes patient symptoms, results from labs, and data from medical imaging. This training of sorts helps in the identification of patterns and assistance with the detection of diseases early on. It has turned out to be an effective effort considering it has not only helped patients with diagnoses but the doctors also with details that have helped with the overall care provided.
2. Personalized treatment
From mental illness to issues that affect patients on a physical level, the treatment despite having multiple common procedures is still subjective in nature. It is because everyone has different levels of immunity, body type, and different resistance to diseases. With AI tools and apps used in healthcare, the data generated is individualistic in nature. It helps in the assessment of which type of treatment would be perfect for any individual to improve its efficacy and efficiency.
3. Enablement of remote healthcare services
The entire industry of remote patient management is surrounded around this capability. There are several companies who are working in this domain such as Optimize Health, Cadence Care, Athelas, Accu Health, etc. Right now with multiple wearables and connected sensors, there is so much data that is generated for analysis. This enables the doctors to assess the medical data and provide clear treatments even remotely with effectiveness.
4. Access to telemedicine and consultations virtually
In many countries that include the USA primarily in order to get medication patients are required to produce prescriptions. This becomes a hassle for people especially who live alone. They had to reach the doctor, get diagnosed, receive a prescription, and then later purchase the medicines by themselves. With remote patient management, patients are able to receive prescriptions online. This enables them to order medicine from an online pharmacy without leaving the comfort of their home while healing.
5. Analytics for managing hospital resources
The AI tools utilized in the healthcare industry not only help with treatment but also with managing the resources available in hospitals. The AI algorithms available for these tools assess data such as patient inflow and outflow, occupancy of beds, and other resources. This not only helps in the assessment of future demand but also helps in streamlining resources. It includes the wait time for the patient and helps the hospitals to make the best decision without any lag in time.
6. Management of medication
With taking medicines, patients are required to be disciplined and consistent, especially with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, etc. However, the majority of the time people fail to do so. With AI-powered health monitoring and management tools, patients can set reminders for their medication schedule, get warnings for drugs, and personalized recommendations. This improves overall health and support in terms of not missing any dose.
7. Chatbots and virtual assistants in healthcare
Chatbots and virtual assistants in healthcare work as great support systems. In fact, with recent conversational AIs like ChatGPT, Google Bards, Bing AI, etc. patients are able to find a lot of information related to their ailment. Adding to it, hospitals also have their own chatbots for answering queries related to their services, instructions regarding admission, and other related queries. This helps in enhancing engagement, helps in educating the patient and empowering them.
AI-powered healthcare and remote patient management have been transforming and have the capability to further transform healthcare. Right now, these technologies have bridged a huge gap i.e. to bring healthcare to your fingertips. It is because of these latest technologies in healthcare that can detect health issues early on, get personalized treatment, monitor their health remotely, and even access medicine via delivery systems. With the inclusion of these technologies, the healthcare industry has become much more efficient, accessible, and patient-centric.