AI and the Medical Industry
How AI is Helping to Reshape Healthcare Systems
How AI is Helping to Reshape Healthcare Systems
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a very powerful asset in today’s society. Before too long, we will more than likely find it featuring within majority of daily tasks we undertake.
It is very apparent that the medical industry underwent a rapid digitalization, due to the affects of covid-19. It was a revolution that had been in the pipeline for a while, but the pandemic spurred a change of priorities. This included the need to reduce physical contact to suppress transmission of the virus, leading to technological and custom software solutions to be created that could be utilized remotely. Both have been a massive support for so many industries during the past 18 months, when they needed to turn to tailor-made software solutions to continue operations. This is only going to continue after the fallout of covid-19, as cultural shifts continue to change and dominate the way companies work.
However, at Clever Software Group, we have been contemplating where AI fits into this digital revolution, which is currently taking place within the medical field. Yes, it is a technology that is ground breaking and could potentially lead to a world of new opportunities. Despite this, it could be argued that the development of AI is still very much in its infant stage and, perhaps, isn’t yet capable of covering diverse illnesses and problem areas found within the medical industry.
Medical science is quickly evolving and advancing at lightning speed. This has been highlighted by the very short timeframe used to produce and rollout the various coronavirus vaccines, in recent months. The advancement in medical technologies and understandings is vastly enhancing quality of life, as well as life expectancy. It has been predicated that the use of AI within the medical world will only support these aspects further.
AI technology has the potential to drastically reshape how medical care is administered, streamlining healthcare processes, whilst increasing overall efficiency and productivity within the industry. Better care would be provided to those who are less able to access good health support and facilities. This would further improve the comfort, wellbeing and standard of living for those who may be more frail or situated in a remote location.
Due to the globally aging population, medical institutions are facing a large increase in demand for services. This in turn is causing a dramatic rise in cost for recourses used, with supply and demand struggling to be met in some cases.
AI could be a major driving force behind a large scale structural change of the healthcare system. This would allow care centers to remain sustainable and thriving. In 50 years’ time, 7.5 million people are predicted to be over the age of 65, in the UK alone. With this, a real strain will be placed on both the physical and financial resources health care providers can access and offer.
However, the UK government has pledged a £250m investment for boosting the role AI plays within the healthcare service. The medical industry has been notoriously slow at adopting new technologies and bespoke software development in the past. But, as society begins to reopen once again, a huge shift has turned to returning healthcare and medical sectors back to pre-lockdown functionality.
AI has the potential to create better care outcomes, by using sophisticated methods to produce predictive models and algorithms. This will improve efficiency in wellbeing distribution and patient care plans. Creating a cohesive AI ecosystem to meet the demands of the healthcare industry’s infrastructure will be no small task. However, the implementation of such advanced technology will improve the quality and speed of patient diagnosis tenfold. Healthcare practitioners would be able to access information that could lead to better patient outcomes, in much shorter timeframes, leading to a better service of care being provided.
AI technology has come on leaps and bounds since its first initial conceptualization in the 1950s. Small steps have already been made to integrate AI solutions into the medical industry, however the surface has barely been scratched, in terms of what could actually be achieved.
AI technologies are already being used within radiology departments, to highlight areas that need specific attention, on scans. It is also being used to automate image analysis and diagnosis, to reduce further chance of human error. These advancements are emphasizing the opportunities for inclusive, fully automated solutions within the medical sector, with little to no need for human guidance or oversight. Alternatively, as Big Data continues to become more and more accessible across multiple platforms, AI systems will be able to assess and manage unimaginable amounts of data. This will make it easier for AI integrations to analyze, process and ascertain new patterns within medical data. This will allow critical research into chronic and terminal illnesses and diseases to become much easier to undertake.
Within the next 10 years, we will more than likely start to see hybrid AI working models appear, within the medical field. These will enable healthcare professionals to be able to override medical advice and decisions, made by AI technologies. This could potentially reduce the amount of time spent on administrative duties, but also have the ability to make the dispensation of live-saving treatments faster and allow the diagnosis of conditions to be made more swiftly.
The medical industry is in the very early stages of beginning to understand how AI advancement and technologies can be used to fully support its services. However, it has been forecast that AI will allow hospital-based care to move towards home-based care, for less severe conditions and diagnoses. This will be due to the supposed creation of virtual assistants and remote monitoring. This is just a theory at this stage and it will be years before it is implemented; it is still a very sci-fi notion at this point.
The full understanding and capability of the uses of AI within the medical field are still yet to be discovered. However, the implementation of state-of-the-art AI technologies within the medical field is only set to increase, supporting and enriching the medical science revelations being made every day.
EDIT: Since this blog was first written, articles expressing the use of AI in diagnosing Dementia have been published. As a condition that normally requires a long time frame to be diagnosed, this development of AI within the diagnosis period of Dementia is truly revolutionary and will make significant changes in the way the illness is treated.
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