Redesigning healthcare with AI
Artificial intelligence has incredible potential to accelerate business functions. Within the next few years, it will undoubtedly revolutionize every industry in our lives, including education, automotive, industry, medicine, and healthcare. I am convinced that it will change healthcare in so many ways. There is also a long debate about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterized by new technologies that are joining the physical, biological and digital worlds, and how they will be impacted. Let’s have a look at the healthcare solutions AI will solve in the near future.
Bringing Big data and artificial intelligence into our lives
We have been experiencing the evolution of digital growth and we see more and more data produced and stored in the cloud. The quantity of data available online is growing at mind-blowing rates. The IDC analysis revealed that by 2020 the Internet will gather 44 zettabytes, a whopping 44 trillion gigabytes. Because of this enormous amount of data we will need artificial intelligence to be able to manage it.
We have not reached the full state of AI yet, but it is being included into our lives even more – self-driven cars, performant search engines, recommendations and much more. Some applications can extract questions from speech and provide driving directions, open slots for meetings or restaurants near the location. Even more, a bot launched last year can challenge parking tickets by addressing simple questions to the guilty ones.
Imagine this potential in healthcare
If people took their time to analyze what AI could do in this domain, there would be a massive list of improvements, from organizing patient routes or planning treatments better to providing physicians with all the information they need so they could make the right decisions every time.
Only by analyzing how many companies are now interested in investing into AI for healthcare we can understand that the future is bright. Analysts say that by the end of 2018 almost 30% of the healthcare system will adopt artificial intelligence and cognitive analytics for personalized treatments and other purposes. Moreover, Frost & Sullivan analysis revealed that the market revenue is estimated to grow by 40% every year by 2021 when it comes to AI in healthcare (from $633.8 million in 2014 to $6,662.2 billion in 2021). Also, according to Accenture’s study, the growth is accelerating in the past few years, and the number of healthcare-focused AI deals increased from 20 to 70 in less than four years.
What is AI actually changing?
We need to understand the real use of AI in healthcare in order to accept its presence more and more. Here is a list of things that AI could do better than other classical techniques:
- Data management: as I mentioned before, there is a vast amount of data we have to handle in every domain, and the most obvious application of AI in healthcare is the informational management. Collecting, storing or tracing data is only one thing that could be done to change the healthcare system. In fact, Google is running a project which aims to find medical records to provide faster and better treatment;
- Personalized treatments: technology can help physicians to create treatment plans for their patients. For example, IBM launched a special program for oncologists, which provide specialists with treatment options. The application can analyze complex data about the meaning and the context of clinical reports, and select or suggest a personalized clinical pathway;
- Online consultation: the world is busy, and doctors too. When there’s no time for an appointment, but you are sick and want to solve that as fast as possible, you could use an app. We already have applications that could offer medical consultation based on medical history. The user is providing the app with the symptoms of the illness, which check a database of diseases and provide appropriate medical treatment. This solution could increase the efficiency of diagnosing patients while decreasing the waiting time at the examining room.
- Genetic medicine: AI will have a significant impact on genetics and genomics as well. The technology could identify patterns in data sets of genetic information and medical notes and records, which represents mutations that cause diseases.
- System analysis: AI could be useful in analyzing healthcare performance or people performance. The data stored in the cloud could be analyzed faster and better. For example, you can find out almost immediately if a doctor is making mistakes repetitively in treating a particular type of condition. That could help institutions avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and place people where they work better.
There are a lot more improvements that AI could do in healthcare. But first, people have to get rid of prejudices and fears regarding technology and help people understand how AI could be an advantage for them. If we succeed, enormous medical and technological discoveries will make our lives easier.
If you have questions about the topic, do not hold back and leave a comment in the section below.
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