The idea of artificial intelligence (AI) reshaping the world as we know it has been in the imagination of human beings for a long time. As technology continues to expand at an ever-increasing pace, AI becoming an important part of our everyday lives seems to be closer to reality.
In the field of healthcare, professionals and scientists are hopeful that the implementation of new AI technologies will push progress forward and make new improvements upon existing treatments and procedures. Whether it’s using AI to perform menial tasks in order to free up time for doctors or using it to detect the early onset of diseases more quickly and accurately than humans are capable, we should expect AI to play a huge role in the future of healthcare.
What is AI in Healthcare?
Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare refers to the use of computer algorithms to reach or approximate conclusions without direct human input. To help you further understand what AI means in healthcare, here is a list of some of the areas where existing AI technologies are already having an influence:
- Diagnosing patients. An algorithm has been designed that can detect skin cancer in patients as accurately as dermatologists, and another device designed by Google can screen patients for retinopathy – the lead cause of vision loss for people with diabetes – with great accuracy. Much progress is being made with AI algorithms to diagnose vision problems.
- Assisted-robotic surgery. Recently a robot was used to assist with an eye surgery for the first time, and heart surgeons often use a miniature robot to create a small incision on the chest and provide therapy over the surface of the heart during surgery. When robots assist surgeons, it can reduce the amount of complications during surgeries.
- Administrative tasks. AI’s ability to help doctors and healthcare providers with things like image readings and note-taking is being used to free up professionals’ time so they can dedicate time to more urgent tasks.
- Nursing assistance. Virtual nursing assistance apps can answer patients’ questions around the clock and provide more regular communication and care to patients.
The implications of the use of sophisticated AI in healthcare could have a revolutionary effect on medicine. However, to successfully implement new AI technology safely and responsibly, professionals, tech-experts and scientists will have to consider the caveats carefully. For example, protecting the privacy of patients will be an important issue in the future.
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