Artificial Intelligence is developing quickly and it is having a significant impact on society. Most of us already encounter AI in our everyday lives without even thinking about it. Beyond the more common applications for AI, you can see real promise when you look at how this technology can be applied to healthcare.
At the current time, we are just starting to see the beginning of the AI revolution in iphone mobile app development and other facets of the industry. As the technology advances and investment in healthcare AI grows, we can expect to see astonishing developments that will improve outcomes for millions of patients.
While the future of AI in healthcare is exciting, let’s take a look at a few of the current trends that are starting to shape the relationship between this technology and the healthcare industry.
Better Hardware and Algorithms
Until recently, it wasn’t practical for most businesses to run advanced deep learning systems. The hardware and maintenance were just too expensive for all but a few companies or research organizations. We now have GPUs that are faster, more efficient and more affordable. This has made AI technologies more accessible to a wider range of businesses.
Along with the hardware getting better, programmers are getting better at using the hardware. With the necessary computing power being more accessible, more businesses and research organizations are running tests on AI algorithms. As more tests are performed and AI is applied to a wider range of tasks, the algorithms keep getting better and more reliable.
Digital Health Consultations
Going online or using an app for medical advice is not new. However, the older systems had their limitations. Some systems may have had to rely on a human doctor to provide the consultation and others may have been automated, but the range and ability of these systems were limited.
With modern AI, you can get a reliable health consultation without needing a doctor on the other end of the system. These systems know what questions to ask and, thanks to Natural Language Processing, they have a better ability to understand and respond to human language. Along with that, they can use deep learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data to come to a more reliable recommendation for patients.
Robotics in Healthcare
Smarter AI is also helping to bring robots into the world of healthcare. This doesn’t mean that you can expect to see a robot doctor anytime soon, but robotics are already being used to assist with a number of different healthcare applications.
As one example, robotic systems are being used in physical therapy to help patients recover from injuries. Along with that, you have surgical robots that allow doctors to perform procedures from remote locations or to perform surgeries that are more complex.
AI for Diagnostics
The diagnosis of disease is one area where AI can excel. For a human doctor, diagnosis can be a time-consuming, tedious task. With AI being used for medical diagnosis, more patients will be able to get diagnosed and it opens up the possibility to detect conditions sooner and with greater accuracy.
An AI system could review thousands of medical images in the time it would take a human doctor to diagnose one patient. Not only that, the system is learning with every image it sees. As these systems develop, they should be able to detect conditions like cancer much sooner than their human counterparts. That would allow the doctor to start treating the disease earlier to provide a better outcome for the patient.
Virtual Follow-up Visits
Many conditions or treatments require the patient to come back for follow-up visits. In many cases, these follow-up visits are not urgent, but the doctor needs to monitor the patient’s progress. This takes up time that could be spent with patients that need the doctor’s attention more.
For patients who have less urgent follow-up concerns, the use of a virtual follow-up system could provide them the care they need while allowing the doctor to focus his or her attention on patients that need the attention more. The system could work like a chatbot to ask questions concerning the patient’s condition. Based on the responses, it could then make recommendations about care or tell the patient they need to schedule an in-person visit with the doctor.
Discovering New Drugs
AI can also be used to make drug discovery quicker and cheaper. Machine learning algorithms can analyze a wealth of research to help identify new potential treatments for diseases. Beyond that, AI can also be used to make the research and testing phases of drug development more efficient. Instead of getting well into several stages of testing only to find that a new drug is not viable, the AI system would be able to detect the issues much sooner, and that would save the researchers time and money.
The human component of healthcare will always be necessary. We still need these professionals for many of the most important tasks. With that being said, Artificial Intelligence is already being used to help healthcare professionals do their jobs better, use their time more efficiently and to provide improved care.