Whether it is about supporting improvements in patient care outcomes, access to healthcare services, or patient experience, AI does it all. It helps increase the efficiency and productivity of care delivery, besides enabling clinicians and medical practitioners to spend more time in direct patient care without burnout. Driven by AI, the digital-first approach to healthcare has significantly gained credibility. Besides, the very nature of the pandemic has boosted AI spending in healthcare. One of the examples is the Mount Sinai Health System using artificial intelligence (AI) combined with clinical data and imaging to analyze patients with COVID-19. Another one is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 (CDC) hosting an AI-driven bot on its website for effective screening of coronavirus infections.
With AI spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries expected to increase from $463 million in 2019 to over $2 billion by 20252, let us look at a few critical AI applications in healthcare.
Applications of AI in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence has the power to increase primary care and triage via chatbots. Chatbots offer immediate conversational responses and connecting becomes quite simple for patients. They can save money on avoidable trips to the medical practitioner. When executed effectively, chatbots can even aid healthcare providers to exceed patients’ expectations while improving patient outcomes. As chatbots adopt an all-in-one communication approach, they encourage patients to share their health information proactively, enabling medical practitioners to hone patient care quality, mitigate costs, and boost patient satisfaction. AI thus enables smooth flow and automation of primary care, leaving doctors to focus more on critical and dreadful cases. Besides, AI solutions in healthcare are taking a more humanized approach. Digital human platforms, equipped with integrations into IBM, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, enable healthcare providers to create and deploy digital-human employees with much ease. Hospitals could thus leverage digital humans as health assistants to provide empathetic, 24/7 aid to patients.
AI technology in the form of collaborative robots has brought about a revolution in the field of surgery. The revolution can be seen in terms of their speed and depth when making fine incisions. Generally, the result of a surgery, especially a new or complex process, can change with surgeons’ skills. AI utilization can minimize case-to-case variations, improving the efficiency of even the most skilled surgeons at the same time. As AI machines are precise, they mitigate the probability of shudders or any accidental movements during surgery. For instance, AI-controlled robots can offer a three-dimensional magnification for articulation, while performing with better precision and miniaturization, known to execute basic acts of precision cutting and stitching. Surgeons at the Maastricht University Medical Center, Netherlands, utilized AI-assisted robotics to suture very narrow blood vessels of .03 to .08 mm. Besides, AI machines can employ data from past operations to devise new surgical methods.
Virtual Nursing Assistants
AI systems alleviate virtual nursing assistants available 24/7. From interacting with patients to directing them to the most effective and best care setting, virtual nursing assistants could save $20 billion3 annually for the healthcare industry. They can monitor patients, answer their questions, and hence, offer quick answers in real-time. Today, most of the applications of virtual nursing assistants enable regular and consistent communication between healthcare providers and patients. As this happens between patients’ office visits to their doctors, there are fewer chances of unnecessary hospital visits or hospital readmission. AI-powered virtual assistants provide personalized experiences to patients, helping them detect their illness based on the symptoms, besides scheduling doctor appointments and monitoring their health status. A virtual nursing assistant guides you through the course of the treatment. This application of AI may be adopted to enhance patient engagement and perfect their self-management skills to prevent severe conditions from worsening. Care Angel, the first virtual nurse assistant globally, can provide wellness checks through AI and voice.
Precision medicine is known to be one of the most valuable examples of AI in healthcare. Its foundation relies on the large amounts of data gathered from several disruptive technological innovations, such as cheap genome sequencing, advanced biotechnology, and health sensors used by patients at home. Remember, precision medicine banks on advanced supercomputing algorithms with deep learning. It thus uses the cognitive abilities of physicians at a new scale. Collaborating with Scripps Research Institute, CA, USA, Intel has developed a deep learning algorithm. It could identify 23 patients with high cardiovascular disease risk, undetected by traditional statistic methods, with 85% accuracy. Besides, Google DeepMind and IBM Watson are known to be the leaders in mining medical records. The aim, here, is to create a cognitive assistant armed with a range of clinical knowledge, besides reasoning and analytical abilities.
Administrative Workflow Assistance
Automation of administrative workflow is one of the AI applications in healthcare. It guarantees that care providers prioritize urgent tasks, aiding doctors, assistants, and nurses save time on their routine jobs. Applications of AI in healthcare could lead to about $18 billion savings for the healthcare industry. Technology like voice-to-text transcriptions offers help on the administrative end of healthcare. They help automate non-patient care activities, such as ordering tests, prescribing medications, and writing chart notes. AI in healthcare examples includes a partnership between the Cleveland Clinic and IBM. IBM’s Watson mines big data and assists physicians offer a highly personalized and efficient treatment experience to their patients. Besides, physicians can analyze medical papers in thousands using natural language processing (NLP) and learn about varied treatment plans.
Are You Benefitting from Applications of AI in Healthcare?
The global AI in the healthcare market size4is anticipated to grow from $4.9 billion in 2020 to $45.2 billion in 2026. This spectacular growth stresses the need for healthcare institutions to embrace artificial intelligence to offer cutting-edge healthcare solutions to their customers. Institutions should explore and exploit the full potential of AI tech by aligning with healthcare technology partners who can help strategize on making the right AI investments and guide you backed by industry expertise enabling your business to add value for customers of tomorrow.