As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes an increasingly important tool in health care, it offers unprecedented opportunities for improving patient outcomes, reducing costs, and impacting population health. There are many examples, including automation, delivering a simple synthesis of complex health information to patients, families, and caregivers, and providing recommendations and visualizations for shared decision-making among patients, family members, and health professionals.
Need for AI Technology Adoption in Healthcare
As healthcare organizations realize the benefits of technology adoption as patient numbers rise and quality and affordable treatment become more important, they are adopting artificial intelligence. It is still early in the adoption of artificial intelligence in healthcare. The reason behind this is that many emerging economies lack the means of digitizing patient records.
The increased number of diseases and the need for better understanding and diagnosis with the help of deep learning are some of the reasons for AI adoption in healthcare. In many healthcare organizations, AI has enabled them to treat more patients at lower costs and with improved efficiency.
Need for Building Database for Healthcare AI
To effectively utilize AI in the healthcare industry, there is a need to build a database with all the historical data of patients, required to identify the patterns and accordingly use AI for diagnosis and therapy. If customized accurately, AI would not only be ‘intelligent’ but also highly user-friendly.
It is also necessary to maintain records physically in certain countries in South Asia and Africa. However, the adoption of AI is relatively less challenging in developed countries such as the US and the UK, where the majority of healthcare data have already been digitized, and the technology has flourished.
Significance of Data for AI Utilization in Healthcare
In healthcare, data can be related to health conditions, reproductive outcomes, quality of life, and many similar life events determining an individual or an entire population. Health data includes clinical metrics along with environmental, socioeconomic, and behavioral information pertinent to health and wellness.
After getting to know the most important terms, definitions, and methods used in the field of artificial intelligence, we need to be familiarized with the current situation of data and data analytics in healthcare in order to be able to find out where artificial intelligence can come into play in healthcare; why and how we could make use of machine learning and smart algorithms – as the most important ‘base material’ for smart algorithms is data.
AI technologies that can Transform Healthcare
AI is based on technologies such as Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, and Context-Aware Processing. The healthcare industry is undergoing a transformation as a result of these technologies.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
In today’s world of complex data, AI plays a significant role in simplifying insights, and NLP makes the process more accessible to more people. The goal of Natural Language Processing (NLP) is to mimic the responses of humans when answering queries and holding conversations by utilizing algorithms. Using NLP healthcare providers can summarize narrative text by highlighting key concepts or phrases, such as those found in long journal articles or clinical notes.
Data elements in EHRs, which are represented as unstructured text, can be transformed into structured, meaningful data by using Natural Language Processing. Using NLP, Intermountain Healthcare, for example, has identified the causes of illness in patients by mining their medical records in order to identify cases like strokes, cancer, heart failure, and venous thromboembolisms (blood clots in the leg’s deep veins)
By implementing AI in healthcare, diseases can be diagnosed and treated more efficiently. Medical data and images can be analyzed using deep learning, a component of AI, to enhance the ability of doctors to treat diseases. Visually challenged individuals can benefit from deep learning by narrating the text, identifying the facial expressions of nearby people, studying the surroundings, and describing the environment using computer vision, text-to-speech, and computer vision.
Advanced neural network algorithms, GPUs that can process large amounts of data, and access to enormous amounts of internet data are all driving the deep learning revolution. A cognitive computing & deep learning approach is being used to train IBM Watson, for example, to assist doctors with medical diagnosis.
As examples of AI applications that can be used in healthcare, Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana can provide assistance based on the instructions provided by the programmer. Using AI chatbots in healthcare can eliminate the burden on medical professionals and reduce the time and cost of coordinating care and detecting issues or diagnosable health issues.
Bots could be considered the next step in the transformation of health assistants. HealthTap, for instance, or Your.Md are Bots that use AI to diagnose the most common symptoms. Nevertheless, chatbots play an important role in directing patients to the right doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Doctors with experience would be able to rely on them to supplement their duties.
There is also the possibility of using AI with robotics. Healthcare facilities can be revolutionized with physical robots that can help people stay healthy and reduce the number of hospitalizations. In addition to AI, advanced humanoid designs are enabling robots to converse with and socially interact with elderly patients. With robots, surgery can be performed with more precision and smaller incisions since their flexibility and reach are greater.
Certain robots can serve as social partners to treat mental health issues or alleviate loneliness. Blue Frog Robotics (developers of BUDDY), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and AIST (developers of PARO) are among the companies that have expanded companion robots into healthcare.
Many technology companies are currently conceptualizing AI-powered surgical robots by leveraging the capabilities of machine learning applications like Google DeepMind, IBM Watson, and others. With AI-enabled robots, less damage will occur, precision will increase, and recovery will be faster.
With the growing amount of digital data and the complication of overseeing a large number of patient records, all end-users under the healthcare umbrella are embracing artificial intelligence. AI-enabled content analytics can enhance providers’ ability to administer effective and efficient treatment protocols by speeding up the diagnosis of patients’ conditions through the use of NLP tools.
Although AI has many proven applications in the healthcare sector, the extent of its implementation in medical practice is still at an initial stage. The healthcare industry is expected to undergo a transformational change as AI adoption increases. It is estimated that healthcare data diagnosis and treatment procedures will improve as a result of the expected growth in the future. The healthcare industry can reap numerous benefits from AI, which has a wide range of applications.