Across the globe, diverse industries get disrupted with the emergence of new technologies.
‘Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ is no less than a buzz word in the modern, digital world.
With time, AI is slowly achieving the milestones that literally amaze the world like never before. Particularly in the healthcare segment, AI has already built unshakable foundations. It has grown to unprecedented levels to further improve the accuracy of advance healthcare treatments.
Doctors, hospitals or insurance, almost all that is tied to the healthcare sector has felt the impact of AI in positive ways. Still, there are some people who are unaware of this next-level advancement in the healthcare segment.
So, let’s start from the basics in brief, about what Artificial Intelligence is and how it is influencing the healthcare industry around the world.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare

In simple words, you can consider AI to be a combination of a number of technologies that work together to mimic the human’s capabilities and functions.
Especially in the modern healthcare industry, it has reached a stage of paramount importance. As a result of it, one can witness a paradigm shift in the way the healthcare treatments are offered to patients.
Since its inception, AI has been transforming how the world thinks about the diagnosis of different diseases and providing treatments. It is no less than an added layer of decision support that is augmenting the expertise of specialist doctors with technological advancement.
The impact of AI is not limited to mitigating errors in the healthcare administration, but also expands towards clinical settings and medical diagnostics.
Whether it is about diagnosing disease, planning the treatment process or the resulting patient outcomes, AI-powered technologies are making the much-needed change in almost all stages of healthcare. Traditional methods followed in clinical decision making are getting revamped.

AI-based improvements in healthcare industry

A good number of healthcare organizations and life science companies are using AI technology. They are spending millions of dollars on AI-based projects.
Before we start to discuss the ways in which the mighty AI is giving a new shape to the healthcare industry, let’s have a look at the broader analysis about the same –

1. Improvements in medical diagnostics

Prior to offering the treatment for a disease, its proper diagnosis is very important. Failing to get a disease diagnosed properly can lead to healthcare complications and even death of patients. Even a skillful doctor can lead to diagnostic errors as the human mind is fallible.
Identifying the cause of disease in a patient’s body may become a routine, but critically important task for the doctors.
But in some cases, this task becomes extremely redundant and laborious using conventional methods. This is where the right implementation of AI plays its role, in the form of algorithms making the process more efficient.
It also minimizes the occurrence of diagnostic errors, thus leading to a higher success rate of disease diagnosis.

2. Refinement of healthcare marketing

Next to the diagnosis of a disease, finding a cure for it is the next step followed by the doctors. In some cases, it becomes hard for Healthcare Providers (HCPs) to prescribe drugs to a patient in almost no time.
Understanding the possible cause of his health condition may take time. This leads to a common notion amongst the patients that HCPs or pharmaceutical companies do not understand what they actually need. This disconnect gets best served with Artificial Intelligence.
To gauge a patient’s behavior, data about his previous hospital records, lab tests, HCP notes, etc. can be analyzed through AI-based predictive analytics tools. This helps in connecting the dots and gives marketers several data-points they can use in their campaigns while targeting patients suffering from different diseases.

3. Improved adherence to prescribed medication

The people in the United States who are taking prescription drugs is increasing with time. In turn, this has resulted in the rise of annual healthcare expenditures per person.
But it has also been found that a good fraction of this annual expenditure goes to waste. This is because not all prescriptions are taken as directed.
Just like marketers can use AI to better target their patients in the ad campaigns, HCPs can also use AI tools to prevent the patients from indirectly wasting money in buying prescribed drugs. These tools can tell about the likelihood of a patient deviating from the prescription.
The predictive outputs help the HCPs in understanding which patients need support to follow the given prescription.

Similar other ways in which AI is changing the healthcare industry

It is true that AI has the potential to change the outcomes of healthcare processes and to cut the cost of major critical treatments. It can serve as an additional layer of improvement augmented over the expertise of HCPs, as detailed below:

1. Introduction of electronic health records

There are certain routine processes followed in the healthcare industry, such as clinical documentation, keeping the patient’s records save for future needs, etc. They take up too much time, and there is always a risk of human errors.
But things changed with the possibility of voice recognition and dictation to create Electronic Health Records (EHR). It has also automated the routine processes, along with making the user interfaces more intuitive. These records get stored in the cloud, and information retrieval is easier than ever before.
Another resulting benefit is that the health history of a patient can be easily found and analyzed to identify patterns of health complications if any.

2. Higher accuracy in medical imaging diagnostics

Reports of tests like X-rays, CT scan and MRI using advanced machines detail out how the inner organs of our human bodies are working. But they do not always result in the most accurate diagnosis of an underlying disease.
But with the introduction of AI in radiology, the shortcomings of these advanced machines have been revamped. For instance, with the help of AI-based algorithms, it is now possible to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous cells more accurately.
Check out the AI-based cancer detectors here in the Guardian post.
Doctors can perform a detailed diagnosis of a disease to arrive at a better conclusion.

3. Ease of getting helped by a medical virtual assistant

Medical assistance has gone beyond having a nurse in-person with a patient all the time.
People can manage their health goals with the help of an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) or a Medical Virtual Assistant (MVA). They help a patient more like a real assistant, because of the AI incorporated in them.

Here are some ways in which these virtual assistants can be of great help to a patient:

  • Reminding him to take the prescribed medication on time
  • Advising him about visible symptoms of a disease
  • Keeping a check on his diet
  • Reminding him about ordering the medicines that are about to last sooner, etc.

These assistants are high in intelligence, and can even understand user sentiments. Even though they can never replace a human doctor, they can help a patient in coping up with the stress related to his health conditions.

4. Accurate robotic assistance for complicated surgeries

A human may not feel comfortable to have a robot performing a complicated surgery on him, but to have a surgeon for the same.
Using Artificial Intelligence, the expertise of a surgeon combines with the technical brilliance of a robot. This has led to a higher level of precision and steadiness during the surgery, thus leading to better patient outcomes.
The advantages of using AI-based robotic assistance can lay a helping hand in carrying out surgeries of various capacities. It will provide real-time data of a patient’s health to reduce the risk related to the surgeries.

5. Increasing importance of preventive healthcare

Across the globe, the traditional healthcare approach is to offer treatment to a patient after he has been diagnosed with a disease. In medical terms, it is called reactive medical care, wherein a patient reaches a doctor with certain symptoms and asks for the required treatment.
With the introduction of AI in healthcare, preventive healthcare approach becomes more pronounced.
A patient’s complete medical history is first studied, marking the risk of various diseases and monitoring changes in his health condition over a period of time.
The healthcare mobile applications advise a patient in preventing the possible diseases he is at the risk of.

Artificial intelligence for healthcare is must now

AI does have the potential to make significant change happen in the healthcare industry. But it should always be considered as a form of technology that augments human capabilities, and not as their replacement.
It is here to grow and expand further in various ways, be it in diagnosing or detecting a disease, providing the required treatment or improving the treatment’s accuracy.
With AI in place, the world is well-positioned to accept a much-needed change in the healthcare industry.
Are you looking to upgrade your healthcare mobile application with Artificial Intelligence? Let’s discuss how you can achieve business growth with AI in the healthcare industry.