When you think about technological breakthroughs from history, the full promise is never what it initially does but what it eventually enables. If you go as far back as the steam engine, it cost far more than other power sources when first commercialised. However, as soon as it enabled faster transportation and cheaper product shipping, suddenly, it did not seem so expensive.
AI in healthcare is the modern-day steam engine. Although applications are still relatively sparse, the fourth industrial revolution of data and digital is starting to enable the new future.
The market for artificial intelligence in healthcare, estimated to be worth USD 10.4 billion in 2021, is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 38.4% from 2022 to 2030. Key factors propelling the market’s expansion are the expanding datasets of digital patient health information, the desire for individualized treatment, and the rising demand for lowering healthcare costs.
Despite having the highest healthcare spending in the world, the United States now has inferior individual health outcomes than most other industrialised countries.
People of all generations need healthcare that is tailored to their requirements. Millennials want to be able to order their meals and receive medical advice from the same place—their sofa. In contrast, groups like the baby boomer generation take a totally different tack.
They are far more likely to want a primary care physician, so we can move away from these systems’ one-size-fits-all approach to actual care delivery–toward leveraging data and AI to genuine care.
For AI to be successful in the 21st century, there are three vital components.
Sometimes, problems are unsuitable for AI; deciphering intent is paramount. Similarly, poor data and algorithm management might unintentionally introduce biases into analyses, with negative consequences for people.
Innovations must function, and the health ecosystem must agree on what constitutes an acceptable margin of error. The same forgiveness that is extended to a human physician who makes a single error is not extended to computer systems that prescribe cancer therapies.
Being open about the limits of data and AI in healthcare can aid in the maintenance of confidence in the face of imperfect performance.
Early adopters of AI in healthcare have already enabled breakthroughs paving the way for a shift from scepticism to a beginning of trust, as well as a jump from efficiency to better efficacy.
There are several ways in which AI is influencing the healthcare sector.
Misdiagnosis is a significant problem in the healthcare industry. According to recent research, around 12 million people in the United States are misdiagnosed yearly, with cancer patients accounting for 44% of them. AI is assisting in overcoming this problem by increasing diagnostic accuracy and efficiency.
AI-enabled digital medical solutions, such as computer vision, provide accurate analysis of medical imaging, such as patient reports, CT scans, MRI reports, X-rays, mammograms, and so on, to extract data that is not apparent to human eyes.
While AI can analyse most medical data quicker and more accurately than radiologists, it is still not sophisticated enough to replace radiologists.
Automation in Patient Care
Poor communication is seen as the worst aspect of the patient experience by 83% of patients. AI can assist in overcoming this obstacle.
AI can automate reminders, payment issues and appointment management. Clinicians can spend more time caring for patients than doing administrative work. AI can also do a lot of the background work of analysing data and ensuring patients are assigned to the correct doctor or department.
AI in Surgery
Healthcare robot AI is making procedures safer and smarter. In complex surgical operations, robotic-assisted surgery allows doctors to attain more precision, safety, flexibility, and control.
It also allows for remote surgery to be conducted from anywhere in the world in locations where surgeons are not available. This is especially true during worldwide pandemics when social distance is required.
The primary benefits of robotic surgery include the following:
Sharing Medical Data
Another advantage of using AI in healthcare is its capacity to handle enormous volumes of patient data.
Diabetes, for example, affects more than 10% of the US population. Patients may watch their glucose levels in real-time and get data to manage their progress with doctors and support personnel using tools like the FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring device driven by AI.
Research and Development
AI has a wide range of applications in medical research. It can help to find new drugs or repurpose existing ones. In this example, AI was used to analyse cell images and understand which were most effective for patients with specific diseases. A conventional computer is slow to spot the differences that AI can find in seconds.
AI tutors can provide instant feedback to students, allowing them to learn skills safely and effectively. In the example, students could learn skills 2.6 times faster and 36% better than those who are not taught with AI.
Virtual patients can help with remote training. During the pandemic, AI supported skill development remotely when group gatherings were impossible.
AI-based apps are being created to aid nurses in various ways, including decision support, sensors to alert them of patient requirements, and robotic assistance in difficult or dangerous circumstances.
There are some best practices to follow for healthcare sector incumbents to overcome the barriers associated with AI and seize the opportunities.
First, systems must be explainable. You don’t want to be in a position where an AI system detects cancer, and the radiologist cannot explain the decision. Prioritise building hybrid explainable AI.
AI-powered medical diagnoses are accurate but not flawless. AI systems can make mistakes that have profound implications. More testing of your AI models is a smart strategy to improve accuracy and reduce false positives.
Due to privacy and ethical limitations in the healthcare industry, gathering training medical data might be complex. Even when automated, this procedure can be costly and time-consuming. Investing in privacy-enhancing technology can help reassure users that their data is safe when acquiring and processing sensitive medical data.
Another critical obstacle to adopting AI in healthcare is patient resistance. At first sight, robotic surgery may frighten patients, but their reservations may dissipate when they learn about the benefits. To solve this dilemma, patients must be appropriately educated.
Clinicians need to become aware of the potential of this new technology and grasp that the world is changing. It is readily adapting AI to improve the patient experience, to eliminate errors, and to ultimately save more lives.
In a human-centric field such as medicine, AI can never fully replace doctors–their care, empathy, touch, and years of experience. What AI can do, today, is eliminate the barriers to delivering care in a globalising, rapidly growing world that is falling behind with its healthcare.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely the author’s opinion and not investment advice – it is provided for educational purposes only. By using this, you agree that the information does not constitute any investment or financial instructions. Do conduct your own research and reach out to financial advisors before making any investment decisions.
The author of this text, Jean Chalopin, is a global business leader with a background encompassing banking, biotech, and entertainment. Mr. Chalopin is Chairman of Deltec International Group, www.deltecbank.com.
The co-author of this text, Robin Trehan, has a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s in international business and finance, and an MBA in electronic business. Mr. Trehan is a Senior VP at Deltec International Group, www.deltecbank.com.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries, and/or its employees.
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