According to stats, the global AI market is anticipated to reach $267 billion by 2027. More than half of the businesses that have implemented AI have reported an improvement in productivity later on. 

The impact of AI on industries is expected to bring forth a whole new era of progress and development in the future. Especially for the healthcare industry.

Read down below to find out more about the trends and benefits of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

Enhancing the healthcare ecosystem with artificial intelligence

Healthcare systems generate huge amounts of complex datasets related to patients. Artificial intelligence solutions can help solve healthcare problems by replicating decisions that would otherwise require human intelligence and efforts.

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected some countries so severely that their healthcare systems have reached the point of exhaustion. This has also reminded us of the dire need for data and artificial intelligence to ease the pressure on healthcare providers and systems.

AI can potentially be a life-saver in times like these. The use of artificial intelligence and robotics in healthcare industry can help carry out tasks such as appointment scheduling, medical record evaluation, patient diagnosis, and more to balance the workload on healthcare providers. 

Upcoming AI trends in the healthcare industry

Let’s look at some of the AI trends in healthcare that are expected to grow in the next few years. 

  • Medical diagnostics 

AI can assist doctors in making accurate medical diagnosis for patients. Studies show that AI is as effective as human doctors in making medical diagnosis based on images and medical reports. 

In fact, the complex algorithms of AI can detect whether a patient is suffering from a disease even before the symptoms appear, for example that of AI medical diagnosis apps.

Healthcare companies are looking forward to further development in this field because not only is AI fast and accurate at specialty-level diagnostics, but it is also a cost-effective solution.

  • Drug discovery 

Drug research and development is a lengthy and costly process. It takes years for researchers to discover, develop, test and bring a new drug to the market.

Recently, a lot of health companies have started leveraging artificial intelligence to make the whole process less time-consuming and affordable.  

Artificial intelligence in drug discovery has led to ease and success in many phases of the process such as chemical synthesis and poly pharmacology.

With further innovations on the way,  we can expect to see many applications of AI in drug discovery in the future.

  • Robotic Surgeries 

The use of robotics in the healthcare industry is growing. Medical surgeries are being revolutionized in terms of speed and safety with the help of AI and collaborative robots.

Deep learning along with complex algorithms allow AI to study patterns within surgical procedures to enhance best practices and increase surgical robots’ control accuracy to submillimeter precision. 

AI machines are also able to study data and information collected from past surgeries to develop improved surgical methods. As AI becomes more sophisticated, we can expect a decrease in complications caused during surgeries.  

  • Virtual nursing assistants  

With nurse workload and cost of labor rising rapidly, the majority of healthcare companies are turning to AI solutions.

A virtual nursing assistant such as Care Angel, is an automated analytics and information system made to reduce unnecessary hospital visits for patients and lessen the burden on healthcare providers. 

Virtual healthcare assistants can work 24/7, examine patient symptoms, and provide quick solutions. According to research, virtual caregiver inventions can be successful tools for health interventions.

A feasibility study conducted in 2015 indicated that 44% of patients that have interacted with a virtual nursing assistant would choose virtual nurse consultation over a human clinician.  

We can certainly expect an increase in the use of nursing assistants and virtual nurse apps in the future. 

Check this out: Artificial Intelligence (AI) myths you need to stop believing in. 

Upcoming challenges of Artificial intelligence in healthcare 

Though the benefits of artificial intelligence in healthcare are limitless. However, there are also several potential problems risks and challenges of using AI technology, and healthcare security is one of them. 

According to KPMG survey conducted among 751 US business decision-makers, 75% of healthcare insiders believe that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to patient data security and privacy.

However, 81% of insiders said that their companies were taking preventive measures to ensure that patient privacy is not compromised. 

Cost is another major factor that hinders the adoption of AI in healthcare. Implementing AI successfully requires some heavy digits, which makes it difficult for small to medium sized companies to fund AI.

Bias and inequality are also major concerns when it comes to application of artificial intelligence in healthcare. Computers don’t become biased on their own, they can only learn that from humans. There are several ways bias can creep into algorithms.

AI systems form decision-making capabilities based on the data they are trained. If the data contains inherent biases from past human decisions, they can be codified and amplified by the system. 

Other than this, people also fear that AI might take over all jobs in the healthcare industry in the coming years.  Though AI can’t to take over jobs completely, it could certainly lead to shifts in the medical profession. 

Though some strong barriers to ai in healthcare exist, but the opportunities for AI in healthcare are also limitless. So perhaps, with time, we will find a way to find the solutions for failures of AI in healthcare.

Takeaway 

Researchers are effectively coming up with new and better ideas to tackle the challenges associated with the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare. As Alan Turing rightly said: “One must design machines to fight machines”.  

The pandemic has been a clarion call for policymakers and healthcare providers to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence. With the right uses and practices, AI definitely has the potential to change the whole landscape of the healthcare sector. 

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