It is only a couple of decades back that we entered the 21st century and Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the greatest life-changing technologies and facilitators for the human civilization of this century. It is a deep-rooted and entrenched belief that AI and related services and platforms are bound and determined to revolutionize global working patterns, productivity, and lifestyles and build immense wealth.
Moreover, it is a well-known fact and out in the open that the transformation brought by AI technology is being, to a huge extent, and positively sustained by the powerful machine learning and deep learning tools and techniques. By the same token, the potential of AI technology has mounted in various industries across the world, over the years, such as sports, manufacturing, and education, and especially in the healthcare sector.
However at first, the AI technology, in the healthcare sector, was solely employed for dehumanizing regular and monotonous duties and reducing the paperwork like digitization of health records.
Although in the present-day world, AI technology has broadened its range of applications as it continues the routine tasks, it no longer is confined to embellishing back-office productivity and emerges as a facilitator to enhance healthcare outcomes.
From medical care to clinical research and from drug discovery and development to health insurance, AI applications are revising the working pattern of the healthcare industry to mark down on spending and improve the outcomes of the patient.
Providentially, the healthcare industry is evolving every day, from best practices to numerous technological upgrades. There is a clear exponential growth in the industry with respect to 3D printing, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. The umpteen advancements and huge progress in the industry are resulting in enhanced medical tools and devices in the hands of medical practitioners in order to provide excellent medical care to patients across the world.
However, when on one side, artificial intelligence is welcomed in the healthcare industry, on the other side, it is also questioned intensely. For instance, Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook shared his views on artificial intelligence as he said that he is really optimistic, especially with AI, and foresees that in the next few years, AI will deliver numerous improvements in the quality of our lives.
However, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla as well as one of the biggest icons in his industry shared his perspective regarding AI as he says it is the biggest existential threat we are going to come across as it poses a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.
Nevertheless, AI applications in healthcare have the potential to simply change patients’ lives across the world, enhancing diagnostics and treatment, and assisting patients and healthcare providers to make informed decisions speedily.
It is an acclaimed fact that early diagnosis of any disease in the patient can be a huge help and boost possibilities for a cure, and AI applications can assist healthcare professionals to diagnose patients by examining symptoms, recommending personalized treatments, and anticipating risk.
Noticeably, amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, AI applications are of great assistance as it is serving its utility in diagnosing the virus among the masses worldwide.
In addition to that, AI is being leveraged to recognize virus-related misleading information on social platforms and erase it. AI is also helping researchers and scientists quicken vaccine development, keep a check on the deadly virus, and comprehend individual and population risk, among other applications.
For instance, Buoy Health presents a web-based, AI-powered health assistant that many healthcare organizations across the world are using to triage patients who show symptoms of COVID-19. It provides personalized information and recommendations based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the nutshell, the opportunities that lie in AI for the medicine and healthcare industries, involving the potential to revamp research, trials, and clinical practice are enormous. What’s more is that, in modern times, AI has become crucial as well as a valued tool for treating patients. Brain-computer interfaces could aid reestablish the capacity to speak and move in patients who have lost these abilities. This technology could also embellish the quality of life for patients with ALS, strokes, or spinal cord injuries. Quite apart from this, the smart medical wearable devices also comprise AI technology such as smartwatches and wearable fitness trackers also assist the population, especially the younger population, to keep track of their own health and physical activity and monitor overall well-being. Such devices spread awareness among the population towards their health, physical activity, and good diet.
Also, it can be useful in helping patients adhere to treatment recommendations as it can be an essential factor in determining outcomes. Although the whole analysis indicates enthusiasm towards the employment of AI technology in clinical practices, it also signifies a few concerns around AI including, job replacement or displacement, training requirements, and legal connotations from regulatory and malpractice viewpoint.
However, most medical experts visualize the prospective implementation of AI tools like decision support tools used by a human medical professional and not in place of a human.