Artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot technology topics across many industries right now. In particular, the benefits of AI in healthcare has been gaining traction in the last two years and will continue to be popular as the technology grows and evolves. Here are a few of the top ways that healthcare can benefit from AI and machine learning.
Data analysis is a massive topic in healthcare. As a society, we are increasingly adopting digital health, and as that increases, so does the amount of data and a variety of data sources. This data influx is overloading healthcare systems, and medical professionals are having a hard time finding a way to digest all of this raw data effectively. Processing data from multiple sources and providing predictive analysis from that data is one of the most significant benefits that AI can bring to healthcare. The healthcare industry is constantly plagued with the predicament of having data from multiple different sources and finding a way to consolidate and process that data into useful information for clinicians. AI can take disparate data from things like wearable devices, electronic health records, and lab testing and give doctors suggestions for care based on that analysis. This information can include disease risks, diagnosis suggestions, and pattern notifications in an increasingly efficient and accurate fashion.
Improving Patient Care
Predicting the chance of and detecting diseases with AI is a use that could genuinely change patient's lives. Using specialized algorithms with patient data sets and sources can help doctors and other medical professionals screen for diseases with a very high level of accuracy. The goal is not to replace medical professionals, but for those professionals to use AI as clinical decision support and “another set of eyes” to decrease the chance of errors. For example, using artificial intelligence to process a patient’s medical records and lab records can help predict the chances of diseases, including things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. Using AI to process this data can also help healthcare professionals understand patient patterns and see where potential patient needs may arise. AI technology can process more data faster than any human, making it a great compliment to any clinician's practice of medicine and a very efficient way of getting actionable data.
Enhanced Patient Communication and Access
Promoting patient communication is paramount when looking to improve patient care. Utilizing technologies such as virtual nursing assistants can help to improve communication with healthcare providers and potentially reduce readmissions or unnecessary emergency room visits. Using AI, virtual nursing assistants can replicate nursing behavior and assist with patient questions, monitoring, reminders, and providing answers. When looking at patient access, especially in rural areas, AI can help to mitigate the impact of resource deficiencies in under-served or rural areas. For example, if a rural area does not have easy access to specialized radiologists, AI can be used to review x-ray’s and provide diagnostic recommendations. AI diagnostic duty assistance can help in various areas of medicine and can assist clinicians in under-resourced regions or locations. Again, this technology is to be used in conjunction with clinicians to help improve the accuracy of diagnoses and provide better care.
Healthcare is a very complex world, and as with any new technology, AI in healthcare is still being explored and refined. As AI continues to grow, it will continue to support human providers in providing better and faster care while also reducing costs. This technology will extend to different areas of healthcare in the coming years, transforming healthcare as a whole as well as individual patient care. All healthcare organizations should begin understanding the benefits and capabilities of artificial intelligence now to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for the abilities to come.