How AI is Transforming the Healthcare Sector

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The conversation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is peppered with potential and its value is felt more than ever in the healthcare industry. As the technology continues to advance, it has unlocked more opportunities for the transformation of the healthcare sector. Below are just some of the ways that demonstrate how AI has and will continue to transform the industry.

Streamlined Processes

The primary use of AI technology in the healthcare industry was focused on streamlining processes. From tasks as simple as taking patient appointments, to tracking patient notes, and evaluating clinical notes or radiology images, AI has made it easier for healthcare professionals to focus on patient care and treatment rather than using their time and effort on the aforementioned processes.

Early Detection

One of the most beneficial uses of AI in the healthcare sector is evident in the early detection of diseases. As AI technology continues to advance, it has gotten more sophisticated in accurately identifying early stages of diseases such as cancer. 

According to the American Cancer Society, misdiagnosis is very common with 1 in 2 patients being falsely diagnosed with cancer. The implementation of AI can deliver a 99% accuracy rate in reviewing mammogram results with 30% more efficiency. This has significantly reduced the need for patients to undergo biopsy. 

The proliferation of wearable medical devices has tapped into AI technology for the early detection of life-threatening diseases, as well.

Clinical Decision Making

Decision making can be life-or-death in a clinical setting. The use of AI has provided physicians access to real-time, accurate, and essential data that made it seamless to diagnose patients, plan treatments, and facilitate in long-term management of diseases. 

The alignment of healthcare data and patient history is crucial in making appropriate and timely decisions. At the same time, this technology has developed over time to offer pattern recognition. It can now be used to assess a patient’s risk for developing certain types of condition based on a number of factors, such as age, genetics, and lifestyle

According to Partnership Insights, the uptake of AI-enabled healthcare will rise rapidly beyond 2021, especially through the proliferation of telehealth and telemedicine technologies, providing better and more efficient access to primary healthcare in the US and in other parts of the world. 

Drug Development

Drug development is one of the most crucial aspects of the healthcare industry, as far as patient treatment is concerned. This is also one area where AI has made great strides in over the years.

AI has empowered the healthcare sector by its ability to identify potential new therapies from an extensive database of drugs and medicines. This technology can improve the success and efficiency rate of certain drugs by aligning them correctly with existing health treats to create an effective treatment method. This entire process aids in the rapid acceleration of drug development and other new therapies. 

Access to Primary Care

AI has made possible the rise of direct to patient solutions when it comes to accessing primary health care. A recent example of this is the development of voice- or chat-based interactions between physicians and patients. In the time of Covid-19, this technology has seen an accelerated growth since virtual consultations has become the norm.

The use of AI in this regard has provided quick and scalable access to medical advice from qualified physicians. From basic care to advanced healthcare questions, this solution has made healthcare accessible even in areas that are underserved or has limited access to healthcare professionals. 

Treatment and Disease Management

AI in healthcare goes beyond the ability to scan health records with ease or tracking patient medical history. It has enabled clinicians to formulate a comprehensive disease management plan, as well as coordinating care with other physicians for long-term disease treatment. 

For over three decades now, AI robots are widely used in laboratories and surgical environments. Their application continues to expand in the medical and healthcare industry as they go beyond performance of repetitive tasks and can support physical therapy and rehabilitation. 

Final Words

Despite the benefits and transformation that AI has introduced in the healthcare sector, certain limitations remain. One of those is in terms of patient privacy and data ownership. 

As the technology is still developing, the risk for data privacy remains, especially in terms of who owns and has control over such data. In addition, the usability of these data is also something that must be improved on if the above-mentioned benefits are to be optimized. 

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