The artificial intelligence (AI) market in healthcare is expected to grow to $6.6 billion by 2021, according to Accenture Consulting. This innovative technology has led many advancements, from AI-based software for the management of medical records, to robotics assisting surgeries. Despite the phenomenal developments, the market is still in the nascent stage and is expected to grow exponentially to completely change the healthcare landscape.
Patient information is already in digital form, with the rapid growth seen in wireless patient monitoring devices and wearables. Virtual assistants are already connecting to medical information online. Powered by AI, virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Alexa are poised to become much more useful than for simply booking you a cab. Currently, researchers are focusing on powering virtual assistants with AI to facilitate better understanding of medical terms and clinical language. This not only has the power to revolutionize how healthcare professionals interact with EHRs, but also help patients understand their specific anatomy and constitution, get more engaged with the care process, and adhere to medication.
With the help of AI, Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home may soon become capable of conducting remote video chats with physicians and performing visual scans. With AI, collecting data from wearables and sharing these files could assist in diagnosis.
The Future is Almost Here
With tech giants investing heavily in healthcare innovation, AI has received a massive boost in recent years. Google’s DeepMind Health project promises to speed up clinical procedures by processing an enormous amount of medical information in a matter of minutes. IBM’s Watson system helps in early diagnosis of heart failure through patient data collected during their hospital visits. The latter system has found its way into many hospital wards, and has been far more effective than traditional methods.
AI vs Humans
AI is proving to be as dependable as physicians in diagnosing medical conditions. Researchers at a hospital in Oxford, England, have developed AI for predicting heart disease. According to their study, in 80% of the cases, the technology performed better than doctors in predicting cardiovascular diseases. Meanwhile, scientists at Harvard Medical School have developed a machine-learning-based microscope that can detect deadly blood infections with an astonishing 95% accuracy.