The Role of AI in the Healthcare Sector

The Role of AI in the healthcare sector: An Ultimate Guide

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Over the past few decades, we have shown excellent progress in the field of technology. As we have witnessed the emergence of promising technologies such as AI, Data Science, Blockchain, IoT and Cloud Computing

We have managed to produce technologies that can converge with our lifestyle and make it easier and more efficient. 

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most powerful and advanced sectors that is helping technological advancements reach great heights. The application of AI in the healthcare sector has revolutionized the industry. 

Also, the lifestyle of people around the globe is rapidly evolving. This means that the healthcare system has to keep itself updated to deal with more patients with complex needs.

According to research conducted by Accenture, the growth in the AI healthcare space is expected to reach around $6.6 billion by 2021

AI has the ability to process huge chunks of data and provide us with insights. This has revolutionized the health care system with its predictive care analysis.

In this blog, get an in-depth understanding of the role of AI in health sector.

Key Takeaways

  • The application of AI in healthcare has revolutionized the industry. 
  • AI and Machine Learning have been leveraged to detect major medical issues such as – lung cancer, heart diseases and schizophrenia. 
  • Though AI has its own set of disadvantages but when compared to the advantages, the negatives are minimal.

Evolution of the healthcare industry in India

India is home to 17.5% of the world’s population. Imagine the number of individuals we need to cater to for medical assistance.

The Healthcare industry has always had a lot of importance associated with it, wondering why? After all, hospitals and pharmacies are the places we turn up to when we are not keeping well. 

Today, if you notice the healthcare system, it has heavily deployed the use of technology to create medical innovations. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been leveraged to detect major medical issues such as – lung cancer, heart diseases and schizophrenia. 

A few decades ago, you had to visit the hospital in person and stand in a long queue until you got an appointment. 

Today, you can get your appointment fixed within a few minutes through a click of a button on your mobile phone. 

Technology has not only developed medical care but also increased accessibility, reach to different parts of the country and minimising the challenges faced by the sector. 

The digital revolution has provided us with a huge opportunity to leverage the benefits of technology. So as to provide an accurate diagnosis, manage operations and establish a strong bond with all the stakeholders involved.

The role of AI in the healthcare industry

Early Detection of Diseases

Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been deployed to give better insights into patient health by early detection of diseases. 

This is done by medical imaging and customizing the intensity of treatment according to the patient’s needs.

Wearable healthcare technologies like FitBits and other smart digital gadgets now give us the ability to track our own health and help us maintain our overall fitness.

FitBit COVID-19 Study

FitBit conducted a COVID-19 study in May 2020 to help the healthcare industry tackle the deadly pandemic by gaining insights from their research. 

During this study, it was observed that FitBit could detect almost 50% of cases of patients one day before the onset of them showing COVID-19 symptoms. 

Power of Technology

As previously mentioned, India is home to 17.5% of the world population and the doctor-to-patient ratio is around 5:10,000. 

Did you notice the stark difference? Here technology can play a crucial role in providing quality healthcare access and minimising the geographical divide. 

With an increase in internet penetration in rural areas, technologies such as online consultation have been growing tremendously. Now you can get your diagnosis done from the comfort of your home.

It has helped streamline the entire process and give patients a more robust experience.

Automation

One of the biggest advantages for the healthcare industry because of the role of AI, ML (Machine Learning), is automation which possesses the power to eliminate the understaffed – overburdened issue.

Now, regular and moderate level tasks can be automated, giving healthcare workers and doctors enough room to deal with complex tasks and make a bigger difference. 

Role of AI during the pandemic

For the past 1.5 years, people worldwide have been struggling with the ongoing pandemic. Because it has completely changed our lifestyle, making – masks, sanitisers, and social distancing measures the new normal. 

The healthcare industry had the biggest role to play in curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

Many countries experienced a shortage of healthcare workers compared to the number of patients seeking treatment. 

There was an urgency to find a solid solution to the deadly pandemic. 

Healthcare workers and doctors worldwide had a challenging but essential task to make sure that they attended to several thousand patients coming their way for treatment as there was a rapid increase in the daily rate of infection. 

Healthcare workers had to put their lives at risk by working in close proximity with COVID-19 positive patients. Often leading to death, too.

AI and other algorithm-based models seemed to be an apt solution to help the healthcare sector with the mounting amount of COVID-19 related cases.

Many hospitals across the country adopted remote-controlled robots to deliver food, medicines, and other vital supplements to patients kept in isolated wards as a social distancing measure.

Limitations of AI in the healthcare sector

Absence of a well-built AI infrastructure

Though the advantages of AI are being deployed in the healthcare sector. The pandemic scenario has highlighted some of the limitations of AI.

Unlike the developed countries, the use of AI in the healthcare sector in developing countries had just started taking pace when the pandemic hit. 

This led to a situation where the incorporation of technologies like AI had to be accelerated to find a possible solution to curb the spread of the disease and monitor the rising number of COVID-19 related cases. 

In the field of AI, Machine Learning (ML) and other algorithm based technology, ‘data’ plays a vital role.

During the pandemic, the use of AI in healthcare faced certain limitations due to poor quality of data, lack of AI skill-sets, and poor technological infrastructure.

To tackle this issue, we need to set up a uniform infrastructure which would tell us who owns the data, where it is stored and who can access it.

Chances of a defective diagnosis

Diagnosis through AI heavily depends on the availability of large quantities of data. 

If suppose there is a shortage of data on a particular disease among the population, then the diagnosis wouldn’t be 100% accurate.

If the doctors are not trained well enough to identify the fault, then the patient might get a defective diagnosis which will put his life at risk.

Negative Side Effects

There might be chances when the AI system might suggest the patient with some treatment but might not have reconsidered any negative side-effects which may affect the patient in the long term view. 

The Future of AI in the healthcare industry

AI has a crucial role to play in the healthcare industry in the future. 

Though AI has its own set of disadvantages but when compared to the advantages, the negatives are minimal.

In the future, there will be a much more centralized data infrastructure. Which will help AI systems in a great way to diagnose patients and provide them with accurate results. 

There would be a much better service and a better patient and staff experience. 

As AI-powered network systems would create a smooth workflow for healthcare workers. Due to this, they wouldn’t be exhausted with high stress levels. 

Every step in the healthcare system would be properly monitored, and the workflow of each individual would be properly divided and monitored.

Wrapping Up: The role of AI in the healthcare sector

In conclusion, I would like to wrap up by stating that technological advancements have completely revolutionized the healthcare industry.

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized the healthcare industry almost entirely.

It is being utilized right from Cybersecurity purposes to Robot assisted surgeries. 

Even though it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, the negatives are minimal when compared to the advantages it offers. 

According to a report published by Deloitte, the future of the healthcare industry will revolve around AI, ML and NLP. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can Artificial Intelligence help the healthcare industry?

AI has the ability to process huge chunks of data and provide us with insights. This has revolutionized the health care system with its predictive care analysis.

What are the limitations of AI in the healthcare industry?

A few of the limitations of Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare industry include:
– Lack of a well-built AI infrastructure
– Chances of defective diagnosis
– Negative side effects

What are the Top 3 Artificial Intelligence applications that could change healthcare?

The Top 3 Artificial Intelligence applications that could change healthcare are Robot-Assisted Surgery, Virtual Nursing Assistants and Administrative Workflow.

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