Importance of AI in the Healthcare Industry!

The healthcare industry is all set to welcome a host of major changes. From chronic diseases and cancer to radiology and assessment, there are endless opportunities for this industry to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) in deploying precise, efficient, and impactful interventions at the right time during a patient’s care.

With healthcare charges on the rise, expectations, and demands of the patients’ from healthcare providers have gone up too. According to industry analysts, Artificial Intelligence is expected to be the driving force behind the improvements across the healthcare industry.

Undeniably, Artificial Intelligence offers a range of advantages over traditional analytics and clinical decision-making techniques. The task of learning algorithms will become more precise and accurate as Artificial Intelligence efficiently interacts and compiles large volumes of data, allowing humans to gain unprecedented insights into diagnostics, care processes, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.

In the 2021 World Medical Innovation Forum (WMIF) on Artificial Intelligence, leading researchers and clinical faculty members showcased significant areas of the healthcare industry that will most likely witness the impact of AI in the coming decade.

In this blog, we shall discuss the reasons why the importance of AI is continuously surging in the healthcare industry.

  • Unifying Mind and Machine through Brain-Computer Interfaces

Using computers to communicate is not new. Creating direct interfaces between technology and the human mind without using traditional computing devices will throw open a wide range of opportunities. It’ll have significant applications for some patients.

Neurological diseases and trauma to the nervous system can often impact a patient’s ability to speak, move, and interact meaningfully with people. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) backed by Artificial Intelligence can help restore these fundamental experiences. According to experts, brain-computer interfaces supported by artificial AI can drastically improve patients’ quality of life with  ALS, strokes, locked-in syndrome, and spinal cord injuries.

  • Help Developing the Next Generation of Radiology Tools

Radiological images obtained by MRI machines, CT scanners, and X-rays offer non-invasive visibility into the inner workings of the human body. But traditional diagnostic processes rely on physical tissue samples obtained through biopsies, which often tend to cause infection.

Artificial intelligence will help develop the next generation of radiology tools that are expected to be way more accurate and detailed replacing the need for tissue samples in some cases. According to the MD of Image-Guided Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, AI-powered radiology tools will help bring together the diagnostic imaging team with the interventional radiologist and the pathologist.

Industry experts have also concluded that Artificial Intelligence may allow clinicians to develop an accurate understanding of how tumors behave rather than basing treatment decisions on the properties of a small segment of the malignancy. They’d also be able better define the aggressiveness of cancers and target treatments more precisely.

An independent study conducted by industry analysts has revealed that Artificial Intelligence helps enable virtual biopsies and takes steps in the field of radionics, which primarily focuses on harnessing image-based algorithms to characterize the phenotypes and genetic properties of tumors.

  • Expanding Access to Care in Developing Regions

Shortages of trained healthcare providers, including ultrasound technicians and radiologists, considerably limit access to life-saving care in developing nations around the world. Artificial intelligence can significantly help bridge the gap between qualified clinical staff by performing some of the critical diagnostic duties typically allocated to humans.

AI imaging tools are useful in screening chest x-rays for signs of tuberculosis with an accuracy level equal to or higher than humans. The capability can be easily deployed through an AI-based app in low-resource areas where there is a significant scarcity of trained professionals.

  • Reducing the Burden of Electronic Health Record Use

Electronic health records play a critical role in the healthcare industry’s journey towards digitization. But, the switch is also leading to a range of problems associated with cognitive overload, endless documentation, and stress on the end-users.

Electronic health record developers are now leveraging Artificial Intelligence to create more interactive interfaces and automate some of the routine processes that consume a lot of time. According to reports, users spend a significant portion of their time on three tasks – clinical documentation, order entry, and sorting.

Voice recognition and dictation tools powered by AI are significantly helping in improving the clinical documentation process. Additionally, Artificial Intelligence is also helping process routine requests from inboxes like medication refills, result notifications and prioritize tasks that require the clinician’s attention.

  • Creating Precise Analytics for Pathology Images

Pathologists provide the most detailed diagnostic data across the spectrum of care delivery. According to experienced medical practitioners, more than 70% of all healthcare decisions are based on pathology results.

The study further added that between 70 to 75% of all data in the Electronic Health Record are based on pathological results. The Sooner the data is obtained, the easier it is for the healthcare providers to decide the course of treatment. 

AI-powered tools can help drill down the diagnostic data to the pixel level and help healthcare providers better understand the situation to take up the appropriate curse of treatment. Additionally, AI can help improve productivity by identifying features of interest before caregivers review data. According to recent reports, AI effectively screens through slides guiding healthcare providers to notice the most important findings and ensure best treatment methodologies

  • Containing the Risk of Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is now a growing threat to populations all over the globe. Overuse of these critical drugs often fosters the evolution of substances inside the bloodstream that are immune to treatments. Multi-drug resistant organisms can wreak havoc and can claim thousands of lives.

Electronic health record data can help identify infection patterns and highlight patients at risk before they begin to show symptoms. Going forward, these data can be further analyzed using AI-powered tools to enhance accuracy and create faster and more accurate alerts for healthcare providers. 

So, here were 6 reasons why the importance of AI is fast increasing in the healthcare industry. Let us know in the comment section how you think AI will revolutionize the healthcare sector.

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