November 22, 2018
Technology has a single purpose; to enhance the human experience. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare is on the rise and is solving a variety of problems for patients, hospitals and the healthcare industry in its entirety. AI in healthcare is deemed so necessary that all the major tech companies are set to pump out startups in the healthcare and biotech sectors.
What if we could shorten the hospital waiting time for patients, relieve some of the simple workloads of doctors and increase hospitals’ monthly revenue at the same time? What if we could get a quicker and more accurate diagnosis from our homes? With the power of AI, we could provide solutions that ensure quality healthcare to everyone who needs it.
Take the example of a simple procedure like confirming on a consultation with a doctor. The patient can save time when the mundane administrative work of hospital staff is enhanced with AI. A major beneficiary of AI could be the doctors in China. When algorithms can assist the doctors in diagnosing the early symptoms of the disease, it may be beneficial to doctors in Chinese hospitals who see nearly 200 patients a day.
Furthermore, it is not a worry that AI could replace the doctors. As Allan Halpern, a Memorial Sloan Kettering dermatologist and President of the International Society for Digital Imaging of the Skin thinks the threat is quite the opposite. He says, “Algorithms could drive the demand for dermatological services up dramatically.”
If AI algorithms can help with early symptoms of a health issue in the comfort of the patient’s home, the patient could better prepare themselves before consulting a doctor. Global management consultancy McKinsey estimates the potential annual savings from deploying AI in healthcare to be 0.7 percent of gross domestic product, or $300 billion US dollars in the United States and 3.3 billion pounds in the United Kingdom.
If the application of AI in healthcare could be a global phenomenon, there can certainly be a decrease in diseases and untreated patients, ensuring the economical use of medical resources and therefore more healthier individuals. Think of the best doctor that you know or have known. Now think, what if AI technology could extend the presence of these doctors to unattended patients around the world? The world would realize the benefit of the data crunching power of AI as a real and tangible benefit in their lives.