How will artificial intelligence affect the future of healthcare?

Examples of AI in medicine and healthcare AI can improve healthcare by streamlining diagnoses and improving clinical outcomes. A fundamental part of the power of AI in the healthcare industry is its ability to analyze a large number of data sets. The digital health startup Thymia is a good example. It also seems increasingly clear that AI systems will not replace human doctors on a large scale, but will instead increase their efforts to care for patients.

Over time, human doctors can opt for tasks and work designs that are based on uniquely human abilities, such as empathy, persuasion, and the integration of the big picture. Perhaps the only healthcare providers who will lose their jobs over time are those who refuse to work alongside artificial intelligence. AI can improve the administrative and operational workflow in the health system by automating some of the processes. Recording notes and reviewing medical records in electronic medical records takes up 34 to 55% of doctors' time, making it one of the main causes of loss of productivity for doctors.

Clinical documentation tools that use natural language processing can help reduce the time that providers spend on doctors' documentation and give them more time to focus on providing high-quality care. Artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies are becoming more common in business and society, and are starting to be applied to healthcare. Artificial intelligence will provide much of the basis for that evolution by boosting predictive analysis and clinical decision support tools that allow providers to detect problems long before they, otherwise, recognize the need to act. EHR developers are now using artificial intelligence to create more intuitive interfaces and automate some of the routine processes that consume much of the user's time.

Artificial intelligence will play an important role in extracting actionable information from this large and varied treasure of data. However, with such enormous potential, the technology presents interesting questions for the future of medicine. The quality of mobile phone cameras increases every year and they can produce images that are viable for analysis using artificial intelligence algorithms. Inserting intelligent algorithms into these devices can reduce cognitive burdens on doctors and, at the same time, ensure that patients receive care in the most timely manner possible.

Some experts predict that the health industry is the sector that could be most affected by the enormous changes of the fourth industrial revolution. The good news is that using AI to create intelligent processes and workflows could make healthcare cheaper, more effective, personalized and equitable. Both doctors and scientists are faced with questions about the costs and benefits that AI brings to healthcare, including those that directly affect individual patient care, as well as those that affect the industry as a whole. I recently spoke with Tom Lawry, national director of AI for Health & Life Sciences at Microsoft, about the future of healthcare.

Artificial intelligence can also help process routine inbox requests, such as medication refills and result notifications. As payment structures evolve, patients demand more from their providers, and the volume of available data continues to increase at an astounding rate, artificial intelligence is preparing to be the engine that drives improvements across the care cycle. It is based on a combination of workflow, business rules and the integration of the “presentation layer” with information systems to act as a semi-intelligent user of the systems. The complexity and increase in data in healthcare mean that artificial intelligence (AI) will be increasingly applied in this field.

Experts predict that artificial intelligence will allow the next generation of radiology tools to be precise and detailed enough to replace the need for tissue samples in some cases...

Hilary Raney
Hilary Raney

Unapologetic reader. Professional social media scholar. Professional tv nerd. Hipster-friendly food scholar. Wannabe food fanatic.