Robots performing surgery, machine learning diagnosing patients in real-time with stunning accuracy, virtual nursing assistants like smart speakers at every patient’s bedside – these seem like ideas ripped from science fiction, but they’re being implemented today.
The healthcare sector is currently implementing a wide range of AI solutions to improve diagnostics, surgery, patient care and even healthcare facility management. Forecasters predict that the market value of AI in the healthcare industry will reach $6.6 billion in 2021, and others have already started touting it as the new “nervous system of the health industry.”
Here are a few amazing ways that AI is helping to reshape healthcare.
Accurate Diagnoses, in Real-Time
Machine learning solutions have been shown to yield consistently accurate diagnoses in real-time. Recently, an enterprise software development company called InterKnowlogy leveraged machine learning and computer vision to develop a software solution that accurately, efficiently and quickly detected life-threatening abnormalities in people.
To demonstrate, the company uses the example of Posterior Urethral Valve Disorder (or PUV). PUV is notoriously difficult for doctors to diagnose and affects roughly one in 8,000 young men with a less-than-2% survival rate if unaddressed. With machine learning, the company was able to create a software that quickly and accurately spotted the disorder, allowing doctors to intervene quicker with life-saving treatment.
Together, AI and Robotics Are Revolutionizing Surgery
Together, AI and robotics are being used to create a less invasive, more precise form of surgery. In 2017, the Maastricht University Medical Center employed the first robot surgeon in the Netherlands to suture a patient’s blood vessels. This kind of “microsurgery” is near-impossible for a human surgeon to perform (some vessels are no larger than .03 millimeters), but it was easy work for a robot.
It may be some time before these AI robot surgeons are widely used, and they may never fullytake the place of human surgeons, but the early trials and exciting and promising.
AI Improves Efficiency in Healthcare Facilities
AI can also come in handy in the day-to-day workings of a clinic or hospital. Not only can it improve the customer care experience, but it can also optimize business processes.
For instance, machine learning and predictive algorithms can help clinics predict no-shows, which can benefit their customer management system.It can also help with “propensity scoring”: determining a patient’s propensity-to-pay can help health systems determine who needs financial assistance or payment reminders. Finally, it can match patients with appropriate interventions to reduce hospital mortality rates and improve the overall effectiveness of a healthcare facility.
AI Is a Lifesaver
AI is revolutionizing several industries, but nowhere are the stakes higher than in the healthcare industry. The ingenious efforts of developers and researchers working with AI are literally saving lives. Above are just a few of the many examples out there. Look out in the next ten years for even more incredible breakthroughs, as the healthcare industry continues to embrace new technologies.