With its incredible and vast potential, technology is pushing all boundaries to bring unimaginable innovations across various industries, which weren’t possible earlier. Talking specifically about Artificial Intelligence, it will transform the face of healthcare in the coming few years, impacting tremendously the lives of all of us. Of all the emerging technologies, AI is going to be a major catalyst of change for the healthcare landscape. From prevention and diagnosis to managing medications and creating new drugs and medicines, this ground-breaking technology has already started assisting the healthcare workforce in addressing the rising demand for improved healthcare. According to the World Health Organization, there will be a shortage of 12.9 million people in the healthcare space by 2035, which is a matter of great concern. This is where AI takes centerstage, as with the help of its various tools, healthcare domain will experience a revolution that will eradicate many pressing issues like paucity of the workforce.
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence, is the word for intelligence displayed by machines. It’s the science of building computer systems that are equally intelligent as humans and possess the ability to perform functions without receiving instructions. By using various algorithms, their decision-making abilities and the humongous amounts of data generated, these uber-advanced machines deliver impeccable solutions to a problem or request. Christened way back in 1956 by an American computer scientist, John McCarthy at the Dartmouth Conference, Artificial Intelligence is generating huge waves in the market, thanks to the fast pace at which data is being churned. Almost any problem can be addressed through AI, be it food security or good health care – just name it.
AI in healthcare –
Artificial Intelligence is the new nervous system of the healthcare ecosystem, as it is simplifying loads of tasks, bringing in higher efficiency in its various processes and solutions. Augmenting activities of the workforce, AI plays a crucial role in healthcare as it is bringing vast improvements in the sector, and is experiencing massive popularity across the globe. According to a report by Accenture, the AI health market is expected to grow exponentially, reaching a mark of $6.6 billion, by the year 2021, thus clocking a compounded annual growth rate of 40 percent. By capitalizing on the new opportunities presented by AI, the healthcare sector is bracing up to weather the daunting challenges it is facing – digitalization and increasing costs of resources to name a few.
A peek into the areas that are getting influenced by healthcare AI.
Research and analytics – AI is not just limited to comprehending instructions given by humans and then coming up with an appropriate solution or response. For instance, this cutting-edge technology has been used extensively in genomics for performing convoluted processes. Oncology also witnessed its benefits, when it assisted in discovering various flaws in X-rays and MRIs. In medicine, AI has been instrumental in developing personalized treatments keeping in mind the needs of patients. Another suitable example is of IBM’s smart cloud which is the home of Watson – a one-of-its-kind super-computer system that gives answers to questions framed in natural language. AI has a major role to play in making this possible, as it helped in processing complex chunks of patient data, making it possible for IBM Watson to provide treatment suggestions for those suffering from deadly diseases like cancer.
Virtual Assistant – With smartphones proliferating in every little space of the world, more number of people have virtual assistants installed in their devices. Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri and Google Now, are all supported by robust systems that are AI-equipped. The time is not far when there will be a personal assistant to fulfill the daily health needs of patients, thanks to Artificial Intelligence. Healthcare apps backed by AI is a path-breaking invention as it will ensure seamless connectivity and hassle-free interaction between patients and the service providers, resulting in improved outcomes.
Healthcare Bots – Customer service is becoming better with the adoption of healthcare bots. A bot is a kind of application that is backed by AI, through which patients can talk with a chat window on a website or on the telephone to get help. These are extremely helpful for scheduling appointments, giving and receiving medication and also get the billing done, in a hassle-free way. Providing round the clock assistance for such requests, Healthcare Bots are becoming a new trend in customer service. Significant reduction in administrative costs is another major benefit of employing healthcare bots.
Extended help – Services to treat patients suffering from critical diseases, are not just limited to the hospital. Instead, care providers prefer being in constant connection with their patients, motivate them from time to time to bring positivity and happiness in their lives. The problem here is that it costs a lot for hospitals. Adopting AI and making use of mobile apps, care providers can continue offering such services to patients, without bearing any extra cost. Building tailor-made experiences for different individuals, AI, as a life coach, ensures that patients are cared, encouraged and provided feedback from time to time.
Given the flurry of benefits it offers, AI is the Next Big Thing in the healthcare space. The dynamic technology is being embraced by different industries, and its skyrocketing popularity is turning people and organizations more curious to adopt AI. It can’t be called as a recent innovation anymore as it has already started leading the game like a boss. AI is ubiquitous as it’s now present in our homes, offices and now in healthcare as well. The race is on, and competitors are jumping into the arena, but only those who capture this technology in the right way will be able to ace it.