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How Artificial Intelligence Can Be the Key To AI Healthcare

How Artificial Intelligence Can Be the Key To AI Healthcare

 How Artificial Intelligence Can Be the Key To AI Healthcare

A report published by Global Market Insights projects that the artificial intelligence market will reach $6,500 million by 2023 and continue to grow at an average rate of 41.3% over the next few years. One area where this emerging technology can be particularly valuable is healthcare. By using AI and machine learning techniques, hospitals and clinics can more efficiently organize data and make better-informed decisions about patient care, leading to improved outcomes and lower costs overall. Here’s how AI and artificial intelligence will impact healthcare in the future, along with some examples of how it’s already making an impact today.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare

AI is already in your healthcare. From AI-driven robotic nurses, chatbots and even speech recognition software to detect depression—it’s easy to think of AI in healthcare as something far off. And that’s because it's so misunderstood by so many. But what if I told you that AI has been in your healthcare for years? Most just don't know it yet. So, let's go over what we really mean when we say AI and how you can use it today.

What artificial intelligence can do now

There are two types of artificial intelligence, machine learning and expert systems. Machine learning is a technique that uses algorithms to find patterns in large data sets; these systems can be trained using real-world data. Expert systems contain rules and facts that are programmed into computers by experts. This means they can be used to answer specific questions without getting confused by new information or exceptions to those rules. They’re good at answering questions with exact answers, but often struggle with more complex queries that require weighing many different factors. Both forms of AI have been used for decades in health care, with everything from diagnosis software to electronic medical records taking advantage of their capabilities.

Predicting disease

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is mostly used to predict illness and death. Tools like IBM’s Watson are already making incredible strides in healthcare: Earlier this year, a doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center fed data from 14 million patient records into Watson and found new drug combinations for treating lung cancer. The system also combed through 15 years’ worth of Medicare claims data to help predict which patients were most likely to develop heart problems—and then made those insights available for doctors and hospitals to use.

Identifying at-risk patients

Machine learning is a natural fit for analyzing healthcare data. In addition to finding statistical links between specific attributes and a certain disease or condition, machine learning can also make predictions about large groups of patients. For example, it’s possible to identify at-risk patients by their lifestyle choices—like smoking or excessive drinking—or by tracking other health indicators, like blood pressure and heart rate. Machine learning algorithms then look for patterns in these patient behaviors that match up with risky behavior; combined with other symptoms from different sources, doctors are better able to accurately predict a patient’s likelihood of developing a serious medical condition.

Personalized patient treatment plans

All-knowing AIs are not just around the corner, but new research is providing some insight into what these healthcare bots could look like and how they’ll be used. Artificial intelligence in healthcare is rapidly becoming a reality, as evidenced by Google’s DeepMind partnership with a London hospital, where it’s working on an app that will give patients more control over their care plan. In addition to giving patients more say in treatment decisions, AI can also provide doctors with data-driven tools to help personalize patient care. With your personal health data being collected through wearable devices and apps every day—the average American spends nearly three hours each day on their smartphone—AI is poised to take advantage of all that information in a big way.

Patient analysis

Artificial intelligence is changing how we receive healthcare. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are not only improving diagnoses, but are also helping us take better care of ourselves by connecting with wearable devices and monitoring our diet, activity levels, sleep, breathing and heart rate. There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence will have a huge impact on healthcare in 2018. However, what’s less clear is how exactly it will improve patient care.

Preventative medicine and lifestyle management

Both preventive medicine and lifestyle management can help individuals identify issues before they become health problems. Health care providers look at behavior (or certain habits) that a person has in common with those who are already experiencing health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. The goal is to identify trends within population groups or communities (e.g., higher-than-average rates of cancer in a specific zip code). Prevention programs also try to encourage people who don’t have an illness or condition (yet) to adopt healthy habits in order to delay future problems, much like getting them on board with regular checkups and other preventative care measures.

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