Speedy Evolution of the Healthcare Industry
Technological advancement is accelerating every day. Among the fastest evolving technologies in 2017 is Artificial Intelligence. According to Accenture, Artificial Intelligence is a collection of multiple technologies that enable machines to sense, comprehend, act, and learn, either on their own or to augment human activities (Accenture). There is a wide variety Artificial Intelligence applications; among them its application in the Healthcare Industry.
The Artificial Intelligence is already helping healthcare providers in data management. The data management process start with collecting, storing, normalizing, and tracing data traditionally managed by a human system. Google, a leader in AI, launched its Google Deepmind Health Project in 2016 (Matthew, 2016). This project is used to mine data of medical records in order to provide more accurate and faster access to health data (Mesko, 2016). The project is in its initial state, so it remains pretty difficult to tell whether or not this new project will make big impact to the industry.
Artificial Intelligence can also be applied in designing treatment plans. IBM is attempting to improve treatment plan design. It launched this special program for oncologists and is able to provide clinicians evidence-based treatment options (Mesko, 2016). It helps the doctors to identify the key information in a patient’s medical record, provide relevant articles, and explore treatment options to reduce unwanted variation of care and give time back to their patients (Mesko, 2016). By combining all attributes, Watson can recommend holistic treatment plans for a patient.
Naturally, Artificial Intelligence is helpful in assisting repetitive tasks. As true in healthcare as any other industries, IBM launched a new project in this area called Medical Sieve (Mesko, 2016). Medical Sieve is an ambitious long term exploratory project to build a next generation cognitive assistant with advanced multimodal analytics, clinical knowledge, and reasoning capabilities that is qualified to assist in clinical decision-making in radiology and cardiology (Mesko, 2016). The cognitive assistant can help radiologist and cardiologist analyze image to spot and detect problems faster and more reliably.
Artificial Intelligence will also revolutionize the way doctors and patients interact. Today, when you are sick, you need to pick up your phone, call you general practitioner and make an appointment. In the future, online medical consultation and medical service will be possible through AI implementation. One of the companies that has offered this kind of service is Babylon, a new British startup (Mesko, 2016). Babylon launched its application that offers medical consultation online based on a patient’s medical records and general medical knowledge (Mesko, 2016). The app will also remind patients to take their medicine regularly and follow up to find out how they are feeling.
Artificial Intelligence will have a huge impact on genetics and genomics as well. Deep genomics, a system that predicts the molecular effects of genetic variation, leads to new discovery for disease diagnostics and therapies (Deep Genomics). Its purpose is identifying patterns in huge data sets of genetic information and medical records, looking for mutations and linkage to disease (Mesko, 2016). In other words, this AI will help to invent a new generation of computational technologies that will inform doctors what will happen within a cell when DNA is altered by genetic variation, whether natural or therapeutic (Mesko, 2016).
In terms of decision making, artificial intelligence is rapidly advancing. Digital health apps and wearable smart devices are more popular than ever. The proliferation of this trend has the potential to empower individuals to manage their health before intervention is needed (Burke, 2017). Technologies help people make sense of their conditions, sort through their treatment options, and make wise decision about their care. Overall, increasing a patient’s knowledge about their care and improving their satisfaction.
Healthcare has already evolved drastically throughout the 21st century. Traditionally, successful treatment has relied on connections between healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical or medical device companies and other auxiliary players, while still requiring the patient to manage their own care. Overtime, focus has shifted to the patient while establishing a coordinated, cohesive effort among all healthcare industry professionals to deliver more effective and efficient care. With the introduction and evolution of Artificial Intelligence, the ability to provide the patient with the most effective treatment has taken a quantum leap forward.
Accenture. (n.d.). ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, PUT TO WORK. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Accenture: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-artificial-intelligence-software
Burke, Z. (2017, February 13). Healthcare industry, or consumer health industry? Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Healthcare IT News: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/healthcare-industry-or-consumer-health-industry
Deep Genomics. (n.d.). Changing The Course Of Genomic Medicine. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Deep Genomics: https://www.deepgenomics.com/
Matthew, J. (2016, February 26). Google Launches DeepMind Health, Bringing AI to Healthcare. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Futurism: https://futurism.com/google-officially-announces-launch-deepmind-health/
Mesko, B. (2016, August 17). Artificial Intelligence Will Redesign Healthcare. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from The Medical Futurist: http://medicalfuturist.com/artificial-intelligence-will-redesign-healthcare/