Technology in the medical field is constantly advancing as we strive to find cures and solutions to ailments. It has become as indispensable to healthcare professionals as their training and is used globally on a daily basis in some shape or form. AI is increasingly used to assist doctors and nurses but is often a quiet hero, used behind the scenes. So how exactly is AI being used and what is the impact on the industry?
One of AI’s biggest strengths is data categorisation. Once exposed to large databases, AI is able to spot patterns, build profiles and detect anomalies. This capability is a huge help to the medical world as carrying out this scale of data analysis manually would take years. This capability equates to great promise for AI when it comes to diagnostics as medical imaging analysis, patient medical records and information can be combined to improve diagnostic accuracy and provide a broad spectrum of further information. This can also lead to doctors being able to offer a more tailored approach to treatment as a more holistic picture of the patient’s health is made available.
These technologies are available and in use every day in the western world, however, they are also being introduced in developing countries thanks to entrepreneurs and start-ups. Niramai has introduced the use of AI in India for breast cancer detection, providing an effective alternative to costly mammography.
With AI capable of storing, sorting and categorizing large amounts of information, accurate, up to date and intuitive patient profiles are able to be compiled. Medical professionals can then sift through personal data quickly to identify history and vital information prior to diagnosis. Profiles are also able to be linked, meaning an in-depth family history is also available at the click of a button, providing invaluable insight when talking about a patient’s health and hereditary conditions.
Personal, bedside nurses for patients is a way of the future. Able to replicate the role of nurses, they are able to help with daily routine, remind patients to take medication and answer medical questions. Accenture estimates that the introduction of ‘bedside hospital Alexa’s’ will save the US health system as much as 20 billion annually.
Using robotics during surgery allows for the use of smaller tools and more precise and steady movements. This means that an increasingly large number of operations are successful and require little or no follow-up operations, saving money for the practices and making the process easier for patients.
Of course, robotics and AI are expensive and often the places that require them the most are unable to afford the technology, leading to needless suffering and hardship. However, some, like tech entrepreneur Tej Kohli, has decided to step in and invest in AI to benefit those in developing countries. Having invested heavily in AI and technology to prevent and assist with cornea problems, technology has changed thousands of lives.
From diagnosis to surgery, AI is helping humans to provide a better, more accurate and efficient service. AI is set to improve lives globally and the prospect of how we will be able to make the most of this technology in the next few years is incredibly exciting.