Artificial Intelligence for Health Care


Photo by: CCO Creative Commons via Pixabay


There has been a lot of innovation in the technology industry. Analytics and algorithms have been invented and apps to help us with anything from finances to finding a mate have been created and it is hoped by many that these innovations will help us solve almost any kind of problem.

The medical industry, however, has been lagging behind in innovation as see clinicians are still observed to be typing notes using an old computer or filling out forms using an antiquated electronic health record or EHR system. Doctors spend only some 30 percent of their time in meeting their patients and 50 percent of the time doing EHR and desk work.

There were barriers in the healthcare industry which prevented or discouraged innovation like privacy concerns and regulations. EHRs are hampered by legal requirements and filled with enormous amounts of data but the design keeps them fragmented and difficult for clinicians or HCP to get insights for better care. There is thus a big opportunity to unify data for research purposes to allow clinicians to give patient better care programs. The good news is that innovation is already happening in the healthcare industry as, in 2017, some $3.5 billion was invested in 188 digital health companies.

Investments ranged from exercise bikes to next-generation EHR companies to those that focus on diabetes like Glooko. The investment in innovation, especially in AI and machine learning, may leapfrog the old players with data that can then be used to coach individuals on an exercise regimen to what medicine a clinician should prescribe to a patient. 

Technology and AI will help healthcare companies leapfrog in terms of patient care and improve results with the use of early warning algorithms that can identify if a person is on the wrong track. It will also speed up any diagnosis as the algorithms and analytics can easily bring to light issues that may be difficult to find. The doctor can also provide more personalized care as he doesn't have to be poring so much over medical records as the AI can easily bring up the best that can be advised from the data it has on storage. There can also be better support in between visits as digital health tools can give quick access to health care professionals as well as delivering insightful health tips. Lastly, AI will help patients self-manage certain aspects of their care plan which could be from computing the right insulin dose to the right mix of medications.

"Using technology and AI to ‘conquer’ some of the biggest cost drivers in healthcare can have a dramatic impact both on individuals and how clinical care is delivered. It’s about time," says Michelle deHaaff, writing for Med City News.