Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Landscape of Healthcare

Sep 21, 2021 7:00:00 AM / by Lateef Durosinmi - Director, Resource Group

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the way healthcare is done. There are already some Artificial Intelligence-based solutions in preventive medicine and patient monitoring. They can provide individuals with health information, and even suggest changes to lifestyle habits, all through a chatbot, SMS, or by using voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri.  The tech is already being used to help detect skin cancer and even treat Parkinson's disease. 

Even hospitals are looking at AI to improve patient care delivery, such as Clinical Decision Support Program (CDS). It provides clinicians with recommendations for diagnosis and treatment options, which could potentially reduce the occurrence of medical mistakes. There are also Artificial Intelligence-based solutions for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) management, such as IBM's Watson Health. 

Some experts believe that Artificial Intelligence will streamline clinical workflows, improve efficiency, and reduce costs within healthcare. The adoption of AI in the industry is already underway with many hospitals either actively using or planning to implement this technology. 

Artificial Intelligence

 

Despite the promising potential of AI in healthcare, there are still concerns about its adoption. It is said that privacy laws, complex regulations, and challenging data access issues prevent widespread AI implementation in clinical practices. But as these hurdles can be overcome or managed, many experts are confident that this AI opportunity will be realized. 

Here are a few ways artificial intelligence is changing the landscape of healthcare:

1. Improving Access to Health Records

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by offering patients access to their own medical data. Such access, if done right, could improve the quality of care and control costs. 

The healthcare industry invests heavily in managing and storing patient health data in different formats like images scans, X-rays, etc. AI will help cut these costs down while also making information more accessible for physicians. Doctors would be able to get a complete picture of their patient's medical history within minutes by studying all records in one place using an AI platform. 

2. Enhancing Drug Discovery & Development

Drugs are being developed at a rapid pace and AI has played an important role in the development of new drugs. In fact, drug discovery is the core area that is seeing the most growth today. One can expect to see nearly half of pharmaceutical companies incorporate AI into their business strategies over the next five years. 

AI is being used in drug discovery to identify rare disease targets and determine the best potential candidates for drug development. Additionally, it helps find new methods of developing existing drugs faster with higher confidence rates. An AI platform can help determine whether a drug candidate is worth investing in, save time and money and lead to better innovation.

3. Improving Diagnostics & Interpretation Data During Emergencies

Emergency room doctors may need to make quick decisions regarding a patient's diagnosis. An AI platform can help them determine the best course of action during an emergency and mediate between multiple specialists when more than one doctor is involved in making the diagnosis. It can also help hospitals improve the quality of care by providing better insights and analysis. 

AI can be used to analyze radiology test images, pathology results, and clinical data from different sources in real-time. It can provide interpretation for any treatment plan or diagnosis that may follow the completion of tests. Doctors would be able to receive all information about a patient's history within seconds instead of hours or even days using AI. 

4. Spotting Economic Fraud in Insurance Claims

Artificial intelligence can track patterns, find irregularities, and flag suspicious claims—allowing insurance companies to identify likely fraud without any human intervention. It's quicker and less expensive than current manual methods of identifying fraud—and it's better at catching small but frequent fraudulent claims that these manual methods would miss entirely. A predictive analysis based on artificial intelligence could help insurance companies provide better service with less human intervention. 

5. Identifying Prescription Drug Abuse

The prescription drug abuse epidemic has forced health authorities at all levels to search for ways to combat it—but as yet no single cure has been found despite many initiatives aimed at making medications safer and more difficult to abuse.  

Using artificial intelligence, it is possible to develop a platform that can scan health records and flag prescription drug abuse early on. This will help physicians provide better care for their patients, by identifying hidden health issues early enough to treat them effectively—and it could save billions of dollars in the process by reducing long-term medical costs.

6. Fighting Cyber Attacks on Health Records

Hackers are always looking for new ways into private networks like those at healthcare organizations—in fact, health records and personal information from such organizations make up a large percentage of data breaches. An AI program specifically designed to monitor network activity and spot suspicious behavior can help identify cyber threats and potential data breaches as soon as they start. This can help companies protect confidential information for both patients and employees, facilitating the speedy resolution of breach issues and a return to normal operations.

7. Helping Healthcare Professionals Make Better Decisions

With all the pressure placed on healthcare professionals today, it is more important than ever for them to make accurate decisions quickly. Data-driven AI technology can help professionals in many medical fields, including cardiology, perform tasks like diagnosis and treatment with greater accuracy, which helps improve outcomes and reduce costs—and it also helps them spend more time doing what they do best instead of spending countless hours sorting through data just to find the answers they need.    

While there are certainly challenges facing artificial intelligence in healthcare that will take time to resolve (including regulatory standards), the future looks bright for this growing industry. Physicians are already using AI to increase their effectiveness while reducing stress levels, streamline processes, monitor patients remotely, and get ahead of potential threats—and the list of possible applications for technology like this seems almost endless. 

8. Improving Patient Experience 

As we continue to make the experience more pleasant through things like AI chatbots it will encourage more people to seek help for their healthcare needs even when they might have otherwise delayed or opted out completely. This means that people will get treated faster or at least know they can access help when needed. There is also potential in terms of non-medical options as well. Chatbots could easily do everything from giving out tips on healthy living as well as helping people book appointments online and more. 

For many people the idea of artificial intelligence replacing their doctor is terrifying, but for others, it's a dream come true. For those who don't want to wait around for the AI revolution to happen, it will probably be best to strengthen their relationships with the doctors they already have through things like better communication tools and other interaction methods (such as secure video chat). I think that both options are good because at the end of the day you do need someone there to supervise everything, but that could still eventually change depending on how much power we give machines over our most critical functions, including healthcare.

9. Increasing Accessibility

There are still millions of people in this world who either can't afford to go to the doctor or have no access whatsoever. Many of these people would be willing to pay for treatment if they had access and that's where AI comes into play again. With chatbots, you can provide medical services almost anywhere there is an internet connection available (this includes things like video connections through cellphones). The power of this will soon become clear as we start seeing robot nurses at work in all sorts of different environments, including many developing countries!

10. Creating Transparency in Healthcare through Data Analytics

Due to a lack of standardization, it's difficult to interpret data analytics when the information is not stored in the same way or shared consistently across stakeholder groups (centers, providers, and payers).  Although more and more stakeholders are using enterprise systems such as Epic Systems' MyChart or Cerner HealtheIntent, they have yet to evolve into seamlessly accessible networks that can address patient care coordination on an individual level; these systems are still siloed, providing little visibility into how disparate healthcare entities impact patients' overall health outcomes. AI learns with each transaction by continuously comparing outputs against past data and user feedback. The results are intelligent, dynamic solutions that help you gain a real-time understanding of your data and how it's used to better inform decision-making and improve efficiency across the healthcare continuum - from population analytics to insights on provider performance.

11. Visualizing Data to Simplify Pattern Recognition for Doctors and Nurses  

Many clinicians still rely on manual data entry and analysis to identify patterns in medical imaging, which is time-consuming and prone to the risk of human error. To reduce errors related to human misinterpretation of data, hospitals are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology into their workflow where algorithms analyze radiology images from CT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays, etc., allowing doctors and nursing staff to easily visualize anatomical structures or other abnormalities without having to spend excessive time poring over reams of printed paper reports. 

AI in healthcare will not replace the human element of care, but rather it will enhance and complement it. Artificial intelligence is a huge market shift that is already redefining how care is delivered and how patients are treated.  It will make routine and codified tasks more accurate and efficient while freeing up clinicians to concentrate on aspects of care that require human interaction. 

Our readers should expect more and more healthcare companies to use data analytics and artificial intelligence as part of their automated workflow. As the industry transforms, it is important for doctors, nurses, health systems executives, and other stakeholders to understand how this technology can be leveraged for improved outcomes. 

Topics: Healthcare CxO Topics, Artificial Intelligence



Lateef Durosinmi - Director, Resource Group

Written by Lateef Durosinmi - Director, Resource Group

Lateef Durosinmi is an experienced and qualified professional that has managed information technology and operations projects over the last 14 years, and has demonstrated best practices in managing the top corporate initiatives for healthcare organizations to drive measurable outcomes and serving as a trusted advisor to clients, fellow consultants, organization leadership. Lateef prides himself on understanding the diversity in patient populations and organizational culture. He possesses a knack for creating structure through project planning and seeing projects through to completion and "Post Go Live" project reporting.