AI Delivers Super Powers to Medical Professionals


In the Not Too Distant Future, Your Standard Doctor’s Visits Will Feature a Healthy Dose of Automation with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

For many in the industry, the power of AI represents a significant opportunity and means of addressing the high cost of healthcare, improving satisfaction as patients increasingly focus on value, and revolutionizing surgical treatments. All this will happen while an aging population is expected to put more demands on the healthcare system.

Most applications of AI will be invisible to the patient. It’ll be evident in many of the administrative processes such as when you schedule an appointment online, and check-in for your appointment at the medical center. Automation with AI will streamline the digitization of medical records, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of reminder calls for follow-up appointments and immunization dates for children and pregnant women. It will also be useful in improving the accuracy of algorithms calculating drug dosage and notifying physicians and pharmacologists of adverse effects while prescribing and fulfilling multidrug combinations.

We Are Just Beginning to See How Much Automation with AI Will Impact Public Medicine and the Administration of Primary Care

AI-enabled computer applications are helping usher in the age of individualized care as primary care physicians will have real-time enhanced analysis to better identify patients who require extra attention and administer personalized protocols for each patient.

AI will be used increasingly as primary care physicians take or dictate their notes. As patients, we will grow in familiarity and comfort with secure and encrypted AI assistants analyzing our discussions with our physician, and then entering information directly into our electronic health record (EHR) systems. Primary care physicians will then review our patient data along with neural network-based insights into our medical needs to guide their treatment decisions.

Machine Learning (ML) Is a Branch of AI Already in Use

ML is used to read a patient’s chart, rapidly extracting important information like patient medications, treatment plans, and medical conditions. ML algorithms can also be used to more accurately pinpoint the treatment of head and neck cancer, areas particularly sensitive to acute toxicity of radiation therapy.

Machine learning-based automatic detection and diagnosis is helping identify complex patterns, filtering out negative results, and improving the capacity for radiologists to review x-ray scans, CT, MRI, PET images, and radiology reports. These new algorithms have shown to be as accurate in the automatic detection and diagnosis as an experienced radiologist. For instance, Google’s machine learning applications in healthcare outperformed trained radiologists in a recent study conducted at Imperial College of London1.

Robot Assistant is Just One of the Manifestations of AI in Medicine

Today, AI-powered robots assist in performing surgeries. They make prosthetics more intelligent and capable. By 2050, there will be nearly 90 million Americans over the age of 652 . This aging population is a global trend and is directly leading to an increase in the number of surgical procedures performed. We can expect these procedures to be increasingly assisted by robotics and AI.

For instance, Lung cancer is the world’s leading cause of cancer deaths. A surgical robotics leader in Silicon Valley, Intuitive Surgical, has developed a new surgical system called Ion™ that is set to transform the treatment of this lung cancer. The FDA-approved system enables a minimally invasive procedure to obtain lung biopsies through the use of flexible robotic catheters enabled by AI and computer vision.

Verb Surgical, a joint venture between Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) and Johnson and Johnson through its acquisition of Auris Health is also bringing an AI-powered robotics solution to market. Like Intuitive Surgical, the venture is focused on expanding the market share of their Monarch lung cancer diagnosis and treatment system.  

On the Practical Side, Automation with AI is Poised to Drastically Change and Improve the Patient-Doctor Relationship

Patients face a fractured healthcare system with insurance providers, primary care professionals, drug companies, surgery centers, hospitals, labs, and more. A patient has to navigate a complicated healthcare supply chain that often seems like it is working against them. By integrating these providers along with technologies like Alexa and virtual assistants, the patient can have a seamless experience. This is what we call Experience Automation. It is taking the patients’ perspectives in creating an automated, virtual supply chain. This increases patient satisfaction while decreasing provider costs.

The future portrayed in the medical bay of a Star TrekTM starship is not far off. X-prize medical device competitions, massive investment in medical device development, trending demographics, and the economics of disease treatment and prevention are driving an AI-powered revolution in service, treatment, and care in the medical industry. Companies with the will and wherewithal to adapt to the opportunity will define the experience for generations to come.

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