Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting increasingly sophisticated day by day in its application, with enhanced efficiency and speed at a lower cost. Every single sector has been reaping benefits from AI in recent times. The Healthcare industry is no exception. Here is decoding the future trajectory of healthcare with AI.
The impact of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry through machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) is transforming care delivery. Additionally, patients are expected to gain relatively high access to their health-related information than before through various applications such as smart wearable devices and mobile electronic medical records (EMR).
With a huge amount of accurate data from these devices, AI will help facilitate actionable optimizing care and promote personalized healthcare.
The personalized healthcare will authorize patients to take the wheel of their well-being, facilitate high-end healthcare, and promote better patient-provider communication to underprivileged areas.
Major players in the market are diving in headfirst to become a part of an on-going transformation in the industry.
For instance, IBM Watson for Health is helping healthcare organizations to apply cognitive technology to provide a vast amount of power diagnosis and health-related information.
In addition, Google’s DeepMind Health is collaborating with researchers, clinicians, and patients in order to solve real-world healthcare problems. Additionally, the company has combined systems neuroscience with machine learning to develop strong general-purpose learning algorithms within neural networks to mimic the human brain.
AI Healthcare Programs and Robust Investments to Accelerate Medical Research
Companies are working towards developing AI technology to solve several existing challenges, especially within the healthcare space. Strong focus on funding and starting AI healthcare programs played a significant role in Microsoft Corporation’s decision to launch a 5-year, US$ 40 million program known as AI for Health in January 2019.
The Microsoft program will use artificial intelligence tools to resolve some of the greatest healthcare challenges including global health crises, treatment, and disease diagnosis. Microsoft has also ensured that academia, non-profit, and research organizations have access to this technology, technical experts, and resources to leverage AI for care delivery and research.
Collaborations with research organizations and various universities also remain a key focus area of the market players.
In January 2020, these factors influenced Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company and MIT’s School of Engineering to join hands for three years to drive innovation and application of AI in the healthcare industry and drug development.
AI Revolutionizing Health Care with Major Breakthroughs
AI applications are only centered on three main investment areas: Diagnostics, Engagement, and Digitization. With the rapid advancement in technologies. There are exciting breakthroughs in incorporating AI in medical services.
Some of the major AI breakthroughs revolutionizing the healthcare industry include:
The most interesting aspect of AI is robots. Robots are not only replacing trained medical staff but also making them more efficient in several areas. Robots help in controlling the cost while potentially providing better care and performing accurate surgery in limited space.
China and the U.S. have started investing in the development of robots to support doctors. In November 2017, a robot in China passed a medical licensing exam using only an AI brain. Also, it was the first-ever semi-automated operating robot that was used to suture blood vessels as fine as 0.03 mm.
Moreover, the rise in the number of coronavirus cases has threatened the global population.
In order to prevent coronavirus from spreading, the American doctors are relying on a robot that can measure the patient’s act and vitals. In addition, robots are also being used for recovery and consulting assistance and transporting units. These robots are showcasing significant potential in revolutionizing medical procedures in the future.
Precision medicine is an emerging approach to disease prevention and treatment. The precision medication approach allows researchers and doctors to predict more accurate treatment and prevention strategies.
The advent of precision medicine technology has allowed healthcare to actively track patient’s physiology in real-time, take multi-dimensional data, and create predictive algorithms that use collective learnings to calculate individual outcomes.
In recent years, there has been an immense focus on enabling direct-to-consumer genomics. Now, companies are aiming to create patient-centric products within digitization processes and genomics related to ordering complex testing in clinics.
In January 2020, ixLayer, a start-up based in San-Francisco, launched one of its kind precision health testing platforms to enhance the delivery of diagnostic testing and to shorten the complex relationship among physicians, precision health tests, and patients.
Personal Health Assistant:
Personal health monitoring is a promising example of AI in healthcare. With the emergence of advanced AI and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), demand for consumer-oriented products such as smart wearables for monitoring well-being is growing significantly.
Owing to the rapid proliferation of smart wearables and mobile apps, enterprises are introducing varied options to monitor personal health.
In October 2019, Gali Health, a health technology company, introduced its Gali AI-powered personal health assistant for people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). It offers health tracking and analytical tools, medically-vetted educational resources, and emotional support to the IBD community.
Similarly, start-ups are also coming forward with innovative devices integrated with state-of-the-art AI technology to contribute to the growing demand for personal health monitoring.
In recent years, AI has been used in numerous ways to support the medical imaging of all kinds. At present, the biggest use for AI is to assist in the analysis of images and perform single narrow recognition tasks.
In the United States, AI is considered highly valuable in enhancing business operations and patients care. It has the greatest impact on patient care by improving the accuracy of clinical outcomes and medical diagnosis.
Strong presence of leading market players in the country is bolstering the demand for medical imaging in hospitals and research centers.
In January 2020, Hitachi Healthcare Americas announced to start a new dedicated R&D center in North America. Medical imaging will leverage the advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence to bring about next-gen of medical imaging technology.
Countering AI Challenges in Healthcare Industry
Unleashing AI’s complete potential in the healthcare industry is not an easy task. Both healthcare providers and AI developers together will have to tackle all the obstacles on the path towards the integration of new technologies.
Clearing all the hurdles will need a compounding of technological refinement and shifting mindsets. As AI trend become more deep-rooted, it is giving rise to highly ubiquitous discussions. Will AI replace the doctors and medical professionals, especially radiologists and physicians? The answer to this is, it will increase the efficiency of the medical professionals.
Increasing efficiency of the medical professionals ensures high precision than before, detect life-threatening diseases, and the ability to better monitor the patient.
Initiatives by IBM Watson and Google’s DeepMind will soon unlock the critical answers. However, AI aims to mimic the human brain in healthcare, human judgment, and intuitions that cannot be substituted.
Even though AI is augmenting in existing capabilities of the industry, it is unlikely to fully replace human intervention. AI skilled forces will swap only those who don’t want to embrace technology.
AI in Healthcare Industry – The Next Frontier
Healthcare is a dynamic industry with significant opportunities. However, uncertainty, cost concerns, and complexity are making it an unnerving one.
The best opportunity for healthcare in the near future are hybrid models, where clinicians and physicians will be supported for treatment planning, diagnosis, and identifying risk factors. Also, with an increase in the number of geriatric population and the rise of health-related concerns across the globe, the overall burden of disease management has augmented.
Patients are also expecting better treatment and care. Due to growing innovations in the healthcare industry with respect to improved diagnosis and treatment, AI has gained consideration among the patients and doctors.
Healthcare institutes, government administration, and big IT firms are investing significantly in AI to make healthcare manageable for everyone at a reduced cost.
In order to develop better medical technology, entrepreneurs, healthcare service providers, investors, policy developers, and patients are coming together.
These factors are set to exhibit a brighter future of AI in the healthcare industry. It is extremely likely that there will be widespread use and massive advancements of AI integrated technology in the next few years. Moreover, healthcare providers are expected to invest in adequate IT infrastructure solutions and data centers to support new technological development.
Healthcare companies should continually integrate new technologies to build strong value and to keep the patient’s attention.
The insights presented in the article are based on a recent research study on Global Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Market by Future Market Insights.
Abhishek Budholiya is a tech blogger, digital marketing pro, and has contributed to numerous tech magazines. Currently, as a technology and digital branding consultant, he offers his analysis on the tech market research landscape. His forte is analysing the commercial viability of a new breakthrough, a trait you can see in his writing. When he is not ruminating about the tech world, he can be found playing table tennis or hanging out with his friends.