The market value of AI in the health care industry is predicted to reach $6.6 billion by 2021. Artificial intelligence is increasingly growing in popularity throughout various industries. Most of us associate AI with things like robots, Alexa and self-driving cars.
But AI is a lot more than that. AI experts see it as a revolutionary technology that could benefit many industries.
The impact of AI in the health care sector is genuinely life changing. It is driving innovations in clinical operations, drug development, surgery and data management. AI technology is also rapidly finding its way into hospitals.
AI applications are centered on three main investment areas: digitization, engagement and diagnostics. Looking at some examples of artificial intelligence in health care, it is clear that there are exciting breakthroughs in incorporating AI in medical services.
Let’s explore some of the amazing applications of AI that are revolutionizing health care.
AI does not get more exciting than robots. However, these are not the humanlike droids from science fiction films. We are talking complex and intelligent machines designed for specific tasks.
Today, top-of-the-line hospitals are awash with intelligent machines. Surgical robots operate with a precision rivaling that of the best-skilled surgeons. A Chinese robot dentist equipped with AI skills can autonomously perform complex and delicate dental procedures.
What about robot-assisted surgery?
Intelligent robots are also used as transporting units and recovery and consulting assistance. Transport nurse robots navigate the hospital pathways to deliver medical supplies. Most of these robots are not fully automated. However, these machines show great potential in changing the way medical procedures are performed.
AI algorithms diagnose diseases faster and more accurately than doctors. They are particularly successful in detecting diseases from image-based test results.
Late last year, Google’s DeepMind trained a neural network to accurately detect over 50 types of eye diseases by simply analyzing 3D rental scans. This shows just how effective AI technology can be at identifying real anomalies.
Effective treatment of cancer heavily depends on early detection and preemptive measures. Certain types of cancer, such as different types of melanoma, are notoriously difficult to detect during the early stages. AI algorithms can scan and analyze biopsy images and MRI scans 1,000 times faster than doctors. The algorithms can diagnose with an 87% accuracy rate. Diagnosis errors and delays are becoming a thing of the past.
Precision medication refers to dispensing the correct treatment depending on the patient’s characteristics and behavior. Equally essential to correct diagnosis is the provision of the appropriate treatment. This mostly means the exact prescription and recovery routines for the best outcome.
Precision medicine depends on the interpretation of vast volumes of data. The patient’s data is used in determining the most effective medication. The data includes treatment history, restrictions, hereditary traits and lifestyle.
Data organization happens to be a strong suit for machine learning and AI algorithms. AI-powered data management systems seamlessly store and organize large amounts of data to draw meaningful conclusions and predictions.
Hospitals and other health care facilities collect a lot of information from their patients. The data ends up sitting on a hard drive or in a file cabinet. AI medication systems can browse through these archives to assist doctors in formulating precision medication for individual patients.
AI prescription systems are now equipped to deal with non-adherence with medical prescriptions. They do this by studying the patient’s medical history and determining the likelihood that the patient will take the medication as prescribed.
Drug development is a tedious venture that may take years and thousands of failed attempts. It can cost medical researchers billions of dollars in the process. Only five in 5,000 drugs that begin pre-clinical trials ever make it to human testing. And only one of the five may find its way to pharmacies.
Many pharmaceutical giants like Sanofi and Pfizer are teaming up with tech companies IBM and Google. These are tech experts who are already invested in AI technology. The idea is to build a drug discovery program using deep learning and AI. The results are already paying off.
Rather than using the traditional trial-and-error approach, drug discovery is now data-driven. Intelligent simulations of better cures are possible through analysis of the existing medicine, patients and pathogens. Researchers have even been able to redirect already existing drugs to combat new infections. This is a process that now takes days rather than months or years, thanks to AI research platforms.
Personal Health Assistants
An everyday example of artificial intelligence in health care is personal health monitoring.
Thanks to the internet of medical things (IoMT) and advanced AI, there is a host of consumer-oriented products geared to promoting good health. Over the last few years, we have seen mobile apps, wearables, and discrete monitors that continually collect data and check the vitals.
These gadgets use the data to make recommendations. This is an attempt to remedy any irregularities. Most of these devices store data locally or online. The data can be retrieved and used by medical practitioners as a medical report.
Adopting Examples of Artificial Intelligence In Health Care
AI is here to stay. It will not replace doctors with machines but work alongside them. The goal is to achieve cheaper and more efficient health care services. Being a relatively new technology in health care, AI still has a long way to go, but the progress is impressive.
We can expect improvements and new applications as this amazing technology continues to advance with time. The improvements will not only be in the health care industry but in other areas as well.
Terence Mills is the CEO of AI.io, an industry leading data science and engineering company that envisions, conceptualizes, and delivers white box AI solutions in healthcare, travel, and entertainment. A prestigious member of Forbes Technology Council, Terence is also one of the top 50 AI influencers on Twitter, a sought-after AI thought leader, and one of the Top 10 CEOs of 2019.