Implementing Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Posted By : Khushboo Arora | 13-Jul-2019

Implementing Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

The merits of artificial intelligence(AI) are transforming multiple industries including clinical research, insurance, hospital care, and drug development. Medical researchers are integrating AI in healthcare to improve radiology imaging, detect diseases, simplify DNA sequencing, fine-tune radiation treatments, and formulate precision medicines for personalized healthcare. Total investment in healthcare AI is estimated to reach $6.6 billion by 2021. 


Let’s explore how Artificial Intelligence can bring innovations to the healthcare industry. 


Personal Health Virtual Assistant


A large proportion of U.S adults, seniors, and adolescents now use personal virtual assistants (Chatbots) like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistants. These assistants are backed by advanced AI capabilities and provide users with a self service option. Integrating healthcare apps with AI virtual assistants can alert patients about their medication. They are effective at gauging a patient’s current mental health and assist even when a clinical psychologist is unavailable. 


Eg- MedWhat is an AI personal medical assistant app founded in the year 2010 in San Francisco, California. Various chatbot development companies produce AI-enabled virtual assistants that use machine learning to reply to doctors and patients’ health and medical queries. Application users are required to set up a secure health profile to receive answers for their verbal or typed queries. Patients enter their gender, age, and medical conditions to enable the AI medical assistant to provide timely treatments. The app is useful to replace doctors for minor medical issues, however, patients are recommended to see their physician personally if their problems are complex. 



The above snapshots demonstrate the range of topics an AI powered health app can cover. The app provides recommendations about beneficial dietary supplements. A range of homeopathy, ayurvedic, and conventional medicines are sold  through the app. Users can purchase these medicines after uploading an approved medical prescrption. 


Personal Life Coach 


Patients with chronic diseases need constant monitoring ,therefore, various healthcare providers, introduce life coaching services as a part of their overall care. However, the current shrinking reimbursements have made sustaining these programs difficult.  


To deal with these scenarios health care providers are now using AI capable healthcare or fitness apps. These apps enable patients to receive feedback on multiple data elements captured on their wearable devices or phones. AI enabled chatbot apps encourage users to adhere to their fitness regime. AI acts as a personal life coach for individual patients and creates a customized  plan for them. The AI healthcare apps provide proactive alerts to the users that can be sent back to physicians. 



The above snapshots feature AI personal health care assistant Ria. Ria duly informs users about how many fitness goals they have accomplished. It also provides users various suggestions about adding variety of foods to their meals.


Advanced Analytics and Research


Use of AI in healthcare is not limited to understanding human commands or estimating what type of responses are required. Health care sector uses strong AI capabilities to understand the use cases in oncology to detect inefficiencies in MRIs or x-rays. AI is also used in genomics to execute complex processing. The technology provides assistance to formulate precision medicines and creates personalised treatments for different patients. 


IBM Watson applies its AI capabilities to process patients’ structured and unstructured data.  In oncology, IBM Watson provides doctors with evidence-based treatments suggestions for cancer patients. 



Reduces Medical Treatment  Cost


Integrating AI with healthcare can reduce the cost of operations. AI’s predictive diagnostics can automate operations, achieve significantly greater precision in surgeries, and enable doctors to take preventive measures in real-time. 


It is anticipated that artificial intelligence can even solve the dilemma of the “iron triangle” in healthcare. AI has the potential to short-circuit three interlocking “iron triangle” factors of healthcare- cost, accessibility, and quality in tandem. 


Artificial intelligence transfers time-consuming human tasks to machines so that patients can themselves accomplish their care needs where possible. Increased dependency on machines for treatment will eventually reduce overall treatment costs so more patients can avail critical treatments. 


The impact of AI is apparent in accomplishing operational and administrative functions of healthcare. A PwC analysis of 300 AI uses cases states that - “the majority of AI’s economic impact will come from the consumption side, through higher-quality, more personalized, and more data-driven products and services.” 



Here are some areas where AI is transforming healthcare 


According to Accenture analysis the potential benefits of AI applications in healthcare by 2026 is represented as below. 




Robot-assisted surgery ranks the highest on the AI healthcare implementation chart with $40B and the lowest being cybersecurity at $2B


Healthcare Services With Greatest Cost-Saving Potential


As per McKinsey research, AI might create more value in the following areas of healthcare systems and services.   It is estimated that these potential savings may reach $269.4 billion annually. 


McKinsey researched areas where AI is being adopted in healthcare. The greatest adoption rates are in services and operations. 




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Khushboo Arora

Khushboo is a Technology enthusiast. As a content strategist , she has a great affinity for discovering and sharing unique insights and resources with the tech community.

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