As Andrew Ng rightly quoted “AI is the new electricity” and the latest domain that AI is exploring is healthcare. With the power to perform thousands of complex operations in a second, AI can process vast repositories of medical data into useful insights. AI is rapidly being incorporated in different areas of medical research, and there have already been some major breakthroughs that threaten to transform the future of medicine. Here are some healthcare applications where AI is being applied currently:
AI is being used to analyze X- ray, CT and MRI scans, to diagnose medical conditions in patients. The computer vision techniques allow programs to detect abnormalities in radiology images, and have reached up to 100% accuracy on test datasets, for several diseases. Not only does AI provide an accurate diagnosis, but also is very time efficient as compared to conservative diagnostic techniques. In the recent COVID-19 outbreak, AI has proved to be a great asset in zero-contact diagnosis, especially for contagious diseases. The success of AI in the field of medical diagnosis, gives hope for a future with minimized errors and speedy diagnosis, which will take healthcare years ahead of its time.
2. Medical Data Analysis
With deep learning and cutting edge tools, AI is structuring medical data, to provide doctors and medical researchers with better understanding of the enormous medical data cache. From processing and analysis clinical trials, to find the effects of vaccines, drugs and more, to tracing the origins of strains of viruses, AI is helping scientists track and further medical research, by eliminating redundant methods of data analysis and manual filtering of data.
3. Drug Discovery
Integrating AI with bio-tech platforms is one of the most interesting applications of AI in healthcare today. Several pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer are applying machine learning, in search of immuno-oncology drugs. By finding patterns in medical data, and studying the outcomes of existing drugs on patients, they are trying to discover new combinations of drug ingredients for developing novel drugs. With some very advanced projects like ChemGAN currently available online, researchers and AI engineers are trying unprecedented techniques for discovering new drugs and vaccines to combat chronic and several other illnesses.
4. Robot Assisted Surgery
By using AI for creating robots to assist doctors in surgery, the latest discoveries are trying to uncover the secret to minimally invasive surgeries. The robots combine live camera feed with mechanical tools to perform a new kind of surgery that allows surgeons to operate with magnified views, better control and precision of the tools, and thus minimizing the surgery-related complications.
5. Patient Experience
From optimizing ambulance routes to waiting times using real time data, AI is working towards making healthcare more accessible and efficient for the general public. Conversational AI is making huge progress in developing chatbots to assist patients, monitor their progress and giving health-specific alerts. Some of these projects can conduct entire appointments from the patients’ homes and then guide the patient towards treatment or specialized appointments, by reviewing the symptoms and analyzing the data provided by the patient.
AI is revolutionizing the field of healthcare combining large scale data analytics and intelligent deep learning frameworks. But with great computational power, comes great responsibility. An important guideline while integrating AI with healthcare is to not lose sight of the real science- medicine, behind the layers of our neural networks. While creating complex models, and processing the data, engineers should collaborate with medical practitioners, to ensure that they are going along the right path.