The way products and services are created for the healthcare sector - from magnetic resonance imaging scanners to antibiotics - is experiencing a revolutionary transition.
2020 has turned the world upside down, and COVID-19 introduced us to the world of “new normal.” COVID-19 altered the approach we think about healthcare. With the rise of ideas such as “super-spreaders,” the COVID-19 pandemic unveiled that the world is much more complex than we ever imagined.
From robotic surgery to 3D printing and telemedicine to Artificial Intelligence (AI), technology revolutionizes the healthcare sector. As you know, healthcare professionals are still settling with these countless innovations.
A cornerstone of the fourth industrial revolution, AI is viewed as having the ability to offer a genuine increase in global productivity. Its effects on humanity (and the environment) are said to be comparable to those of steam power and electricity.
Learning algorithms may get more precise and accurate as humans interact with training data. Thus, allowing humans to obtain unparalleled insights into diagnosis, care processes, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.
Let’s have a look at how AI plays a key role in healthcare -
BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACES - UNIFYING MIND AND MACHINE
Developing direct connections between technology and the human mind without the use of keyboards, mouse, or monitors is a cutting-edge field of research with substantial implications for some patients.
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) is a novel technology that links up the human brain to external technology using brain signals instead of peripheral nerves and muscles. BCI research has accelerated thanks to AI, which can improve brain activity analysis and decoding.
Some patients’ abilities to speak, move, and interact meaningfully with others and their settings can be taken away by neurological illnesses and injuries to the nervous system. AI-assisted BCIs can help restore the body’s lost function.
For instance, people who suffer from certain spinal injuries are unable to move their arms or legs because the electrical link between the brain and the muscles in their limbs has been disrupted. BCIs may be able to aid with such injuries by either sending electrical signals directly to the muscles, bypassing the damaged link, or both. AI algorithms can recognize relevant information and logic in the data after obtaining it and can then simultaneously provide the needed functional results.
RADIOLOGY TOOLS OF THE FUTURE
MRI machines, CT scanners, and X-rays produce radiological images that provide non-invasive access to the human body's inner workings. However, many diagnostic procedures still rely on physical tissue samples taken via biopsies, which come with hazards such as infection.
Experts expect that AI will enable the next generation of radiological instruments to be precise and detailed enough to eliminate the requirement for tissue samples in some circumstances.
AI is assisting in the development of "virtual biopsies" and the advancement of the cutting-edge area of radionics, which uses image-based algorithms to describe tumor phenotypes and genetic features.
INCREASING ACCESS TO CARE IN UNDERSERVED AND DEVELOPING AREAS
Lack of qualified healthcare professionals, such as radiologists and ultrasound technologists, can significantly restrict access to life-saving treatment in developing nations all over the world.
AI can help minimize the effects of the significant shortage of skilled clinical personnel by taking over some of the diagnostic tasks that are normally performed by humans. AI imaging technologies, for example, can screen chest X-rays for symptoms of tuberculosis with a degree of accuracy that is often comparable to people. The need for an on-site diagnostic radiologist may be eliminated if this capability was made accessible to doctors in underdeveloped areas via an app.
RESISTANCE TO ANTIBIOTICS AND MANAGEMENT OF THE RISKS
Antibiotic resistance is becoming an increasing hazard to people all over the world, as misuse of these life-saving therapies encourages the emergence of superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. In hospitals, multidrug-resistant pathogens can wreak havoc and claim hundreds of lives annually.
Data from electronic health records can help identify patients at risk and identify infection patterns before symptoms appear. Using machine learning and AI to drive these analytics can improve their accuracy and give healthcare providers faster, more accurate alerts.
IMPROVING THE PRECISION OF PATHOLOGY ANALYTICS
Pathologists are one of the most significant sources of diagnostic information for doctors across the spectrum of care delivery, according to Jeffrey Golden, MD, Chair of the Department of Pathology at BWH and a professor of pathology at HMS.
"A pathology report is a basis for 70% of all healthcare choices," he stated. "A pathology result accounts for between 70% and 75% of the data in an EHR." Therefore, the quicker we can make the proper diagnosis, the more precise we can be. And that is what artificial intelligence and digital pathology may be able to provide.
He went on to say that artificial intelligence can boost efficiency by detecting aspects of interest on slides before a human clinician evaluates the data.
IMPROVING MEDICAL DEVICES AND MACHINES WITH INTELLIGENCE
The consumer sector is being overrun by smart devices, which include everything from cars that can recognize when a driver is inattentive to real-time video from inside a refrigerator. For monitoring patients in the ICU and elsewhere, smart technology is crucial in the medical industry.
By incorporating clever algorithms, clinicians may lower their cognitive load while ensuring that patients receive care as quickly as feasible.
WEARABLES AND PERSONAL DEVICES FOR HEALTH MONITORING
Nowadays, almost every consumer has access to devices with sensors that can gather important health information. On the road, a lot of health-related data is produced, from wearables that can constantly detect a heartbeat to cell phones with step trackers. This information can be gathered, analyzed, and supplemented with patient data from apps and other home monitoring devices to provide doctors and patients with a unique understanding of their health. In order to extract meaningful insights from enormous and varied data sets, artificial intelligence will be a critical factor.
It’s a wrap:
The crucial role that healthcare plays in a prosperous, productive society makes it one of the most important industries in the larger big data environment. The use of AI in the healthcare industry can literally mean the difference between life and death. It can help healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, and others with their regular tasks. Also, AI in healthcare can improve patient outcomes, preventative care, and quality of life, and create more accurate diagnosis and treatment strategies.