There are hundreds of ways artificial intelligence is impacting healthcare – and every industry, for that matter. But because healthcare is so personal, some of these changes may have patients feeling a little uneasy. The research shows that machine learning and artificial intelligence in healthcare means better outcomes for patients, new drug development quicker and less involvement in managing chronic diseases.
We’ve rounded up five ways AI is transforming healthcare:
Gamifying fitness is made possible through the oh-so-popular fitness tracker. This is one of the most common ways the masses experience artificial intelligence in healthcare. Smartwatches with fitness tracking capabilities remind you when to get up and move, track your water and food intake and collect heart rate data (and more!) during exercise sessions. There have been reports of fitness trackers saving users’ lives by alerting them to elevated or irregular heart rates. They promote healthy habits and empower users to take control of their fitness progress.
Drug discovery is getting a lot quicker and more targeted with artificial intelligence research. Sure, medicine is being made regardless, but AI can analyze the masses of data and predict outcomes. This enables the drugs to be made for more specific health issues, improving their effectiveness. And they’re much faster to market because they’re so specific.
Digital Nursing Assistants
Digital nursing assistants enable patients to attend follow-up appointments virtually, without the presence of a doctor. These AI-enabled screens are capable of answering health inquiries, even making basic diagnoses based on a set of symptoms. These digital nursing assistants, or chatbots, can alert doctors of any potential problems that need to be addressed. But this technology enables doctors to scale care without reducing quality. It’s convenient for patients too and may even be offered on demand.
Constant monitoring such as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), has certainly had an impact on individuals living with lifelong diseases that require close attention. What used to mean a finger prick to check blood glucose levels can now be done every five minutes from a CGM unit. Additionally, AI enables insulin pump systems to automatically deliver the correct amount of insulin based on glucose readings from your CGM. A disease that used to require constant attention can now be done without a thought from patients.
Surgical robots have been around for decades, but it’s not until recently that AI powers them to act independently. Previously, surgeons (the human kind) used robots to get to places their hand couldn’t, but now they are used for their incredible precision or to automate suturing, for example. Reports find better outcomes for patients with surgical robots because the data they gain from thousands of surgeries they perform will inform the next procedure.