This column is authored by Navneet Kumar, Digital Marketing Consultant, Intact Advertising
One of the biggest challenges the healthcare industry is facing today is a surge in consumerism making it mandatory to automate processes for increased efficiency.
Technology can transform the way data is handled, and healthcare is delivered with the help of artificial intelligence.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In simple terms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a method by which software, a computer or a computerized robot is made to think intelligently, very similar to how humans think. The sole purpose of this is to be able to replace manpower with machines to make processes more efficient.
For this, there is extensive research about the way the human brain works in different situations, how problems are solved and how the outcome is used to develop systems and software that are intelligent.
In the world of healthcare, automation of several processes has become possible with the advent of AI. As a result, data management, communication between medical personnel and organizations and the delivery of healthcare systems has become extremely efficient.
Uses of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
Today, almost every patient is digitally empowered. As a result, they want care that is more personalized, has more accountability and is also more affordable.
Smart machines that are created with specific cognitive abilities can associate and correlate data sets that are collected from different sources including sensor equipped digital devices. This data is then analyzed to uncover patterns to make it more relevant to provide proper care.
Artificial Intelligence does have several implications for various aspects of the healthcare industry including disease management, clinical trials, diagnosis and treatment, patient engagement, patient monitoring and wellness management.
Among the various uses of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare, you can also include the following:
Managing medical records
Data management is the most obvious and the widely-applied area for artificial intelligence. Data is collected, stored and normalized, resulting in easier communication, faster delivery of health services and customization of treatment plans.
Designing evidence-based treatment plans
Artificial Intelligence can analyze any clinical notes and data to understand the context and determine whether the data is structured or unstructured. This coupled with data from a patient’s file and external data and research, makes it possible for programs to identify potential plans for treatment of the patient.
Replacing humans in repetitive tasks
There are several tasks in the healthcare industry that are repetitive. When replaced by AI, the manpower used in these tasks can be deployed for more complex cases. One of the most common examples is scanning any radiology image to detect a problem. These AI programs are also called cognitive assistants and can assist medical personnel in making clinical decisions with the use of data and reports.
With AI in place, booking consultations, whether online or in person, become simplified. In a case of simple symptoms, the software can give you consultations based on your medical records. This can be accessed in the form of a simple mobile app that is available to just about anyone.
Medication and health management
A recently introduced virtual nurse, Molly was a breakthrough in health management. The app could replicate the good nature and the pleasant voice of nurses while using medical history of patients to provide support in between visits to the doctor, making follow up care more customized.
Today, medicines are developed over decades of clinical trials that can cost billions of dollars. Artificial Intelligence can speed up this process to make drug production a lot more cost- effective. This is due to the ability of AI to structure, compute and provide results with the available data in a just a few hours or days which when done manually, can take several months or even years.
All in all, with Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare industry, it will become possible to cut several costs. There is also the capability of streamlining the workforce and making data available to make healthcare delivery more efficient.