Artificial intelligence transforms nearly every field it touches with medicines being no exception. AI healthcare is bringing expert diagnosis where trained doctors are scarce. Interesting thing is that in a more than what doctors could find in the body scans, the machine learning systems offered newer insights. This is going to be leading edge technology for a non-invasive way to detect health risks.
How can AI help doctors?
Traditional methods of checkup consume a lot of time and give doctors more time to act. Doctors have a lot of difficult decisions to make. For them getting an early detection, a few days before the patient is likely to get very sick will make a tremendous difference. So here, the machine learning system comes for the rescue. It could help doctors to predict whether a patient is likely to recover or going to get sick.
For example, a decision support system for stroke prevention can give the physician a warning when they have a patient at a risk of having a stroke. AI’s neural network application can perform biochemical and image analysis like tumor detection to determine how much an organ has matured. This would revolutionize the treatment of fatal diseases like breast cancer, mesothelioma which is said to remain undetected in its early stage through traditional methods.
The cluster of medicines and healthcare data:
It is very important to think about the health data broadly. I’m talking about huge sums of data. Any person has about several gigabytes of health data. For instance, patient-reported data, check up logs, genomics, molecular technologies, imaging, electronic health reports, and claims. This AI healthcare collectively produces a massive Health Cloud ecosystem. It combines all the knowledge and gathers researchers, doctors, patients, pharma-companies and insurance companies in a secure and open platform.
Will AI healthcare replace us in jobs?
There are some professions that can be automated, resulting in the reduction of human force. But the human skills like empathy, clinical judgment and other emotional intelligence will be remained untouched by our artificial counterpart. If an algorithm could check hundreds of Radiology images a day looking for signs of cancer, Radiologists only have to supervise this process. Physicians would have more time to actually care for the patients or develop the field with new ideas, technologies, and processes.
Big players in AI healthcare:
Remember the “Go” battle between Google’s intuitive program, Alphago and 18 times world champion Lee? The program outplayed the champion player 3 times in a row with its unprecedented move. However, the player analyzed the gameplay and applied a similar strategy that won him the fourth set. This event raised a debate of potentially using the technology in healthcare. This can consequently deliver many groundbreaking ideas which have never existed in human history.
On the other hand, IBM’s Watson has been employed in the USA’s oncology clinics for years. Reports show that IBM has provided the best treatment plans and precise clinical decisions to their patients.
When we have IBM and Google already in the game, how Microsoft could be left behind in AI healthcare? Microsoft’s Hololens created a mixed-reality device to see a holographic prototype of almost anything. Doctors or medical personnel would be able to monitor real-time human anatomy and treatment procedures. Consequently, the patients would receive better treatment decisions and methods during rare and emergency situations.
AI healthcare cost:
Economic experts claim that AI will lower the cost of healthcare as its ability to detect problems earlier than humans. AI enabled devices can diagnose those problems more efficiently and accurately most of the time. This can speed up the checkup and diagnosis process as compared to traditional methods and will save us lots of time and money.
Solution to Indian rural healthcare:
With the current population of about 1.35 billion, managing medical treatment in India has become difficult. Due to the staggering population growth, many patients, especially in remote areas, could not receive proper aid. Most of the hospitals and clinics are located in urban areas. Travelling and medical checkup really incur them unaffordable expenses. Understaffed and undertrained professionals are also a big concern.
In my view, setting up village health centres can really help to bridge the gap of huge doctor to patient ratio. Today, telecom services are well established in remote areas, then why not an AI equipped health centres! Physicians can conduct medical tests with the help of IoT enabled devices like wearables. The test vitals can be sent to the urban clinics and the patients can get reports and medical prescriptions in much lesser time.
The best thing with AI healthcare is that you don’t even need to develop a new medication. Just by using existing medication the right way, you can save lives. Even if all the medical professionals in the world try to keep up with the best knowledge, it’s impossible. We need to let machines and data help us as well. AI is really not something that is in the distant future. But it is something here right now. We cannot always make the right decision but with AI, it’ll be easier when you have a companion by your shoulder.