How Artificial Intelligence Can Change the Health Care Industry
Maria Ashraf, Austin Mardon
Most of us have utilized the voice assistant feature on our phones when we have a question or task to be done. This feature possesses many various names Siri, Alexa, and Google but they all run on the identical concept of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence can be defined as the use of computer and machine technology to carry out problem-solving and tasks similar to humans 1. It involves the creation of systems that utilize large sets of data to constantly make predictions and improvements1. Artificial Intelligence has proved to be a disruptive technology by replacing traditional practices in industries like customer experience, automobile, and retail. However, it has also brought much virtue with its efficiency and increased productivity. However, while other industries have been quick to adopt this advancing technology, the healthcare industry has only just started and has faced some hurdles along the way.
The issue of privacy
One major reason healthcare has been hesitant to incorporate AI is due to concerns about privacy. Patient healthcare information is confidential and has to be protected. However, due to its nature, AI’s component of large data repositories serves as a threat to any leaks or mismanagement of patient data 2.
The issue of Patient Safety
While AI has the potential to do tasks like diagnosis and detection with minimal errors. Healthcare workers and patients may worry about the complete reliance on limited data repositories and machine learning to combat complex patient problems 2.
Regulations and Legalities
Another issue with AI lies in the specific regulations of regions and how they approach AI for their healthcare systems. Utilizing, AI can require the succession of a lot of legal issues and future risk of legal and regulatory problems 2.
The Nature of Health
All in all the precise nature of health and the healthcare industry remains the biggest barrier to entry for AI technologies. Healthcare revolves around an extremely complex system that weaves in ethical and safety issues at almost every point. Navigating this complex system can be difficult for a technology that does not utilize human and emotional intelligence.
With such risks involved, it may seem like Artificial intelligence might not be a proper fit for the Healthcare industry. However, Artificial Intelligence could be the answer to some of the current issues in the healthcare industry with minimal risks. The Healthcare Industry has represented an essential and robust industry in bettering the lives of millions of people with innovative health solutions and discoveries. However, the healthcare industry also faces some upcoming challenges of an increase in patients and a decrease in healthcare workers and funding. Thus, the Healthcare industry can definitely benefit from increased productivity through healthcare while reassigning healthcare workers to essential tasks while keeping costs low.
1- Digital Apps and Wearables
One aspect where AI can help improve healthcare is through the Digital Apps and Wearable industry. Both of these focus on preventative and general medicine. Digital Apps can directly even incorporate the addition of physicians to their services. However, the advice is more focused on patient education and prevention than diagnosis and treatment 3.
2- Easier Diagnosis
AI can also assist physicians with faster diagnoses. For example, there are advancements being made to develop tools to read X-rays and MRI scans more efficiently with the use of AI and detection tools that rely upon data sets and learning3.
3- Better Log of Patient History and Symptoms
It is essential that health care providers give patients the necessary focus and attention in the diagnosis of their issues. However, with increased workloads, there can be issues with patient history management. AI can help improve this with advances in healthcare administration and the ability to manage large datasets 3.
Another area where AI is already generating change is robotic surgery. AI has already been successful in aiding healthcare professionals with pre-surgery planning and now is shifting towards an autonomous robot-assisted surgery to improve precision and flexibility 4.
Thus, with advancements in technology, there lies a huge opportunity for the healthcare industry to better patient treatment and reduce costs. However, the adoption of AI will depend on the regulations and mitigation of risks surrounding patient care.
Maria Ashraf is an article writer for the Antarctic Institute of Canada. She is currently pursuing a major in Biology with Minors in Psychology and Business at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Austin A. Mardon, CM, Ph.D., FRSC is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Director of the Antarctic Institute of Canada, an Order of Canada member, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
1. IBM. What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? [Internet]. Ibm.com. 2020 [cited 12 April 2022]. Available from: https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/what-is-artificial-intelligence
2. Murdoch B. Privacy and artificial intelligence: challenges for protecting health information in a new era. BMC Medical Ethics. 2021;22(1).
3. Compunnel Digital. AI in Healthcare: Top 5 Real-World Examples [Internet]. Compunnel Digital. 2021 [cited 10 April 2022]. Available from: https://www.compunneldigital.com/blog/ai-in-healthcare-top-5-real-world-examples/
4. Bhandari M, Zeffiro T, Reddiboina M. Artificial intelligence and robotic surgery. Current Opinion in Urology. 2020;30(1):48-54.
Image from: https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/comment/what-are-the-main-types-of-robots-used-in-healthcare/