When it comes to innovation and advancements, the healthcare industry is always at the forefront. Although digital and technological transformation has been at a slow pace in the medical space, the industry soon matched up to the changing market dynamics.
In recent time, one technology that has been making news across industries is artificial intelligence (AI). Especially in the medical field, AI has immense potential that can help in improving care, reducing costs and ensuring a healthy tomorrow. The application of AI-powered tools and devices have been driving meaningful change throughout the patient journey. With recent developments and achievements pertaining to AI in healthcare, the work of healthcare providers has become more streamlined and logical.
Here are some of the areas in healthcare where AI is supporting providers with early diagnosis, faster service, and data analysis.
- AI-driven Robots Performs Surgery
- AI-powered Virtual Nurses Offer Assistance
- AI Assists in Clinical Diagnosis and Decision-making
- AI Automates Administrative Tasks
- AI Enables Image Analysis AI-driven Robots Performs Surgery
In today’s digital age, nothing is impossible. It is no more a surprise to see a surgical robot perform a surgical procedure as the world is already getting ready for the change. The idea seems intriguing, but that’s how our future looks like.
At many healthcare facilities, experimentations are going on to check how well a robot can perform in delivering care. Not only in the nursing space, but healthcare providers are also utilizing robots in the surgery segment as well. Already surgeons are using robotic systems in procedures where they need more surgical precision and better control.
In a study that involved 379 orthopedic patients, it was observed that AI-assisted robotic procedure performed way better than the procedure where only the surgeon worked alone. There are many use cases where robots are being used to perform complex surgeries. Da Vinci, the robot has been in use for quite some time now and has been successfully helping surgeons. From delicate to complex operations, robots are proving beneficial for the surgeon as well as for the patients. Robot-assisted surgeries are not only faster and accurate but are also minimally invasive and so the healing time is also less compared to traditional methods.
AI-powered Virtual Nurses Offer Assistance
Over the years, the nursing profession and responsibilities of a nurse have evolved. Now, nurses are no longer limited to the job of attending patients and offering bedside medical care. They are increasingly participating in other activities like using digital devices to note patient’s vital stats, monitoring patient health, etc. Nurses are well skilled and technologically advanced and are positively embracing every digital tool that can improve care services and make them more efficient.
Today, nurses come in human as well as robotic and virtual forms as well. Thanks to AI that has been adding new dimensions to the healthcare industry at large. However, the penetration of AI in nursing is in the evolution stage with various research and experimentation works being undertaken.
From being 24/7 available for help to quickly answering patient queries, performing wellness checks and education patients, virtual assistants are transforming the way care delivered. For instance, companies like Sensely have already introduced its virtual nursing assistant in the form of ‘Molly’ which the University of California and the UK’s National Health Service is using to communicate and interact with patients. All these developments sound amazing and indicates that we are heading for a technically advanced future.
AI Assists in Clinical Diagnosis and Decision Making
Today, most of the technological advances and experiments centers round artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other evolving technologies. Especially in the medical sector, although implementations may not be noticeable yet, various research and case studies are underway focusing on the application of AI in healthcare operations.
From robots to telemedicine, AI has shown its true potential in many forms across various segments of the healthcare industry. One of the big names that come to mind when we talk about AI is IBM, the technology giant who has been successfully bringing transformations with its AI-driven innovation in every industry. For instance, IBM’s Medical Sieve, an automated cognitive assistant is built to help radiologists and cardiologists in clinical decision-making. With analytical reasoning capabilities, the assistant will reduce the workload of clinicians helping them to get a better view of the test image for an accurate diagnosis.
AI Automates Administrative Tasks
The potential of AI in the healthcare space is huge. It is not just limited to AI-driven robots. One of the many benefits that remain partially utilized is the use of AI to automate administrative works in the medical industry. With more and more focus given on surgical robots and healthcare assistants, the significance of automation often gets ignored and remains out of the limelight. As a result, healthcare providers fail to recognize the potentiality of automation and how it can help them provide better patient experience and improve care quality at minimal costs.
Automation of the administrative work can help save time and allow healthcare providers to focus on something way more essential. As per reports, automation alone is expected to save $18 billion for the healthcare industry which can help reduce the overall healthcare cost and expenses. Moreover, doctors, nurses and other professionals can benefit as with automation they no longer need to perform administrative tasks.
Using a voice-to-text transcription tool, providers can perform administration related works like prescribing medicine, revenue cycle management, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, managing patient history, billing, ordering tests, reporting, etc. Even integration of AI into existing tools like electronic health record (EHR) systems, communication systems (PACS), picture archiving, etc. can provide healthcare providers with real-time data right at the point-of-care.
AI Enables Image Analysis
In the healthcare space, medical images happen to be one of the largest data sources. Most of the medical decisions taken by clinicians depend on analysis of these medical images. Either radiologists or clinicians themselves take up the work of manually analyzing the images which itself is a time-consuming process. However, with the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning into the field, image analysis is up to 1,000 times faster than the manual method. Not only AI support makes analysis faster, but also the results of the scanning process are more accurate and detailed than traditional practices currently in use.
The real-time assessment powered by machine learning algorithm provides critical data to surgeons at the time of need. Even it helps healthcare providers to analyze images of patients located in remote areas where they cannot physically reach. The patients can just use their phone camera and send pictures of cuts, rashes or bruises to the doctor who can get it quickly analyzed with AI-driven tools or software and suggest immediate care.
Considering the vast impact and the opportunities AI offers to healthcare providers, it is evident that technology is here to stay. While most of the developments revolving around AI is in its initial or testing stage, however, soon AI-driven tools are likely to take over every industry healthcare being no exception.