Artificial intelligence is getting better and better by the year. At this point in time, AI isn’t even the future, it’s the present. The possibilities are endless, and the quick advancements in medicine due to AI are going to surprise and excite the world.
Everyone has heard of artificial intelligence, but what exactly is it?
According to Oracle, artificial intelligence refers to systems that mimic human intelligence, and improve iteratively through data collection. The more we use it, the better it will become and the more potential it has to transform every industry.
Perhaps no industry is more important than the medical industry. Without our health, let’s face it, we are nothing. It’s comforting to know that we are bound to see improvements, and quickly.
In what ways will this happen, you might ask?
Keep reading to find out how artificial intelligence and medicine are currently intersecting, and how medical practices worldwide can benefit from AI technology.
According to PubMed, roughly 400,000 hospitalizations and 100,000 deaths are preventable each year. Human error, incomplete medical histories, and overworked healthcare workers are common factors in these cases, which is why AI is an exciting solution. Artificial intelligence can diagnose patients faster than humans can, which will no doubt reduce the number of preventable deaths and hospitalizations.
And there are already real-world examples of AI diagnosis tools.
One example is Buoy Health, an AI-driven digital assistant that aids in a patient’s self-diagnosis and determines proper care. A 2020 study even found that Buoy Health decreased the level of uncertainty in its users who were trying to diagnose their issues.
These findings are exciting because a reduction in patient confusion and unnecessary ER/urgent care visits could actually have considerable implications on the cost of health care, improving the medical industry as a whole.
The importance of a positive patient experience cannot be understated. According to one study, a positive patient experience correlates with better disease management and health outcomes overall.
To put it bluntly, a positive patient experience is essential to good healthcare.
Thankfully, AI is improving the patient experience by providing helpful tools for disease management in many ways, such as:
- providing preventative solutions rather than just focusing on treatment
- making the patient operational flow more efficient
- decreasing frustration
For example, Johns Hopkins Medicine partnered up with GE Healthcare with the goal of implementing AI in medicine and healthcare to better operational efficiency.
The medical facility has assigned emergency patients to beds about 38% percent faster than before.
For other companies, like One Drop and Kaia Health, the focus is offering consistent help to patients. One Drop’s app offers interactive coaching to its users, as well as learning resources, and daily trackers. Kaia Health, on the other hand, is a digital technology that offers live physical therapists for users with busy schedules who may find it difficult to get treatment on a typical PT’s schedule.
AI will no doubt continue to play a vital role in enhancing the quality of the patient experience and healthcare delivery.
With incredible amounts of data being collected daily, the most important findings are often lost in a sea of information. According to RBC Capital Markets, “Approximately 30% of the world’s data volume is being generated by the healthcare industry.” Without proper data management, valuable findings about diagnosis, prevention, patient habits, and more are not going to be used to the fullest.
The solution, as you might have already guessed, is artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to sort through data that would take a human years to process in a fraction of the time.
In healthcare, more time could mean someone’s life.
For example, Tempus has created the largest library of clinical and molecular data in the world in order to provide personalized healthcare treatments to patients and give physicians helpful information on how to treat their patients.
Other companies are using AI to sort through their data and help detect cancer patterns, classify symptoms, and predict and automate processes.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used in healthcare appointment management. A poor appointment management system can easily turn off patients to a medical practice, as long wait times and cancellations can make for a subpar experience.
AI can automate various tasks related to appointment scheduling, such as sending reminders, rescheduling appointments, and even making recommendations for future appointments.
This allows medical practices to focus on other aspects of their operations, leading to improved efficiency overall.
In addition, AI can help improve the patient experience by providing personalized service and recommendations. As the use of AI in appointment management continues to grow, it is clear that this technology can have a significant impact on businesses of all sizes.
Another area where artificial intelligence will have a particularly profound impact is speech recognition. A large part of a physician’s job is paperwork. In fact, according to one 2018 study, physicians spend about 35% of their time on documentation. This has led many clinicians to wonder when they became data entry workers due to the demanding work of filling out these lengthy electronic health records for their patients.
That’s where speech recognition tools come in handy.
Speech recognition technology has the potential to free up physician’s time from lengthy documentation and allow them to spend more time with their patients. In one example, 94% of workers at Nebraska Medicine who used voice recognition tools reported that using these tools has enabled them to do their jobs better, and 71% said the quality of their documentation improved due to the technology.
These improvements are only expected to get better with the help of artificial intelligence. As the AI used in these speech recognition tools learn the style, accent, and vocal habits of its users more, they will continue to improve efficiency and save time. In a world where time is always tight, this could be a real game-changer.
We are on the cusp of a new era in healthcare, one in which artificial intelligence will play a transformative role. From earlier detection of diseases to more personalized treatments, AI has the potential to completely alter the health and medical community. As we learn more about how to harness its power, we can only imagine the ways in which it will continue to shape the future of medicine.
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