When does someone mention healthcare, what comes to your mind? White coats, a nurse with a clipboard writing notes, and a doctor checking vital signs? Yes, all of it is an integral part of healthcare. But, there is a new player in town – AI (Artificial Intelligence).
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving and technological advancements are playing a very important role in that.
One of the most remarkable advancements in the healthcare industry is the introduction of AI.
AI has transformed the way healthcare is delivered and it is expected that the role of AI in healthcare will revolutionize the industry in the coming years.
AI and Healthcare
AI has the potential to make healthcare more efficient, accessible, and accurate. So let’s discuss how it is changing the landscape of the industry.
Diagnosis and Treatment
One of the most promising applications of AI in healthcare AI helps healthcare experts immensely with making better decisions regarding the diagnosis and treatment of patients. This can then lead to better patient outcomes and improved healthcare efficiency.
For instance, AI has been used to analyze mammograms and detect breast cancer with more accuracy than human radiologists.
The best part about the introduction and role of AI in healthcare is that it helps in the early detection of some diseases. By looking at patient data, AI can identify individuals that are at high risk of developing certain diseases. So healthcare providers can take proactive measures to prevent the onset of some diseases.
AI is also intelligent enough to identify patterns in medical data that might be missed by human doctors, leading to timely and accurate diagnoses.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Another area where the magic of AI can be seen is remote patient monitoring. With the rise in remote care and telemedicine, a number of patients are now receiving medical care from their homes.
An important role of AI in healthcare helps medical professionals to monitor patients remotely by analyzing data from wearable devices like fitness trackers or smartwatches.
For instance, an AI algorithm could interpret a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs to detect early signs of a stroke or a heart attack. The algorithm can then alert the caretaker or the doctor of the patient potentially saving the patient’s life.
Drug Discovery is a notoriously time-consuming and expensive process with many drugs failing to make it to the market. This is all despite years of development and research. The role of AI in healthcare can help in speeding up this process. This is done by analyzing vast amounts of data to identify potential new drug candidates.
There are a number of AI systems being introduced that can analyze millions of chemical compounds. This helps to predict which ones are more likely to be effective against a particular disease.
This can help pharmaceutical companies immensely by identifying new drugs at a lower cost in a more quick manner. This can then open more horizons for new treatments for a wide range of diseases.
Explore more on new advancements in health care by giving the latest trends in digital healthcare, a read.
How to Regulate AI in Healthcare?
Regulating AI in healthcare is not very easy as it requires collaboration between healthcare professionals, AI experts, and regulators. Here are some of the steps that could be taken to regulate the role of AI in healthcare.
1. Clarity in Guidelines
Clear guidelines must be established between regulators, healthcare professionals, and AI experts. This must be done for the use and development of AI in healthcare. These guidelines must discuss transparency, accuracy, and data privacy.
2. Monitoring of the System
Once the AI systems are deployed in a setting of healthcare, they must be monitored regularly. This is to ensure that they are accurate, efficient, and safe. This can involve performance evaluations, audits, and even risk assessments.
3. Encouraging Transparency
Healthcare providers and AI developers should always be encouraged to be transparent about how AI systems work, what data they use, and how they make decisions. This can help a lot in developing trust and ensuring the role of AI in healthcare. It makes sure that it is being used in a responsible and ethical manner.
4. Address Bias and Fairness
AI systems can easily become biased if they are not trained on data that is representative of the population. They are designed to serve. Regulators should work to ensure that AI systems are designed in a way that they are unbiased and fair.
5. Fostering Collaboration
For regulation of the AI in healthcare efficiently, it is important for the stakeholders, AI experts, and healthcare providers to work closely with and collaborate. This can help a lot in keeping regulations practical and effective and that they address the real-world challenges of deploying AI in healthcare.
Overall, for the role of AI in healthcare to be regulated, a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach that addresses unique challenges is required.
Limitations and Challenges of AI in Healthcare
While AI holds tremendous promise for healthcare, there are some challenges and limitations to consider here. A study conducted in 2020 also highlighted some challenges faced by healthcare providers.
One of the major challenges is the need for high-quality and large amounts of data. AI algorithms depend on data to learn and improve so if the data is incomplete or biased, the algorithm may make inaccurate or harmful projections.
Another challenge for AI is the potential for AI to heighten existing health differences.
This can be understood better by looking at an example that if an AI algorithm is trained on data from a predominantly white population, it may not be as accurate for patients from other ethnic and racial backgrounds. It can impact the role of AI in healthcare immensely. And it can lead to ineffective treatments and misdiagnosis for the patients.
The Future of AI in Healthcare
Despite all the challenges, the future of AI in healthcare looks very bright. As the technology continues to evolve, we are likely to see even more advanced AI systems that help detectors make more accurate diagnoses, identify new treatments, and monitor patients remotely.
While AI can never replace human doctors entirely, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach healthcare and improve outcomes for patients around the world.