Machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming healthcare with their rapid fire pace of innovation. So, what is artificial intelligence?

From scheduling checkups to detecting cancer, AI is making its mark in healthcare by automating massive and repetitive tasks, not to replace doctors, but to offer them tools which will help them do their jobs more effectively.

These are all tasks that providers traditionally do day to day, but sometimes machines can help people do them better, “Reducing ER wait times, improving surgical workflows – those are key to improving the patient experience, and AI has a real role to play.” says Michael Williams, president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Did you know?

The IDC predicts that worldwide spending on artificial intelligence will escalate to $46 billion by 2020, spanning across several industries, healthcare included. And, about 35% of healthcare organizations plan to leverage artificial intelligence within the next two years — more than half intend to do so within the next five.

AI is Taking on Challenges and Becoming Smarter as it Does

AI is being used to diagnose treatment recommendations based on patient data, streamline communication between doctors and lessen the risk of complications.  Algorithms are also being trained on monumental tasks, such as detecting signs of breast cancer in mammograms, earlier than humans are currently capable of.

Because these trained computers become smarter with the more data they take in, they are constantly learning and improving in their efficiency. Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute states that “Computing capability can transcend what a human being could ever do in their lifetime.”

Artificial Intelligence is Changing The Game

AI and its relevance in healthcare is accelerating quickly. As it begins to emerge out of its infancy, being accepted by both patients and caregivers alike, new knowledge discovery and improved productivity are steadily increasing.

  • IBM’s Watson analyzed genomic data from both tumor cells and healthy cells and was ultimately able to glean actionable insights in a mere 10 minutes. Compare that to the 160 hours it would have taken a human to analyze that same data.
  • “Artificial intelligence start-up Medial EarlySign discovered that the combination of AI and EHR data can facilitate early detection and treatment of kidney problems and can help slow down – or even prevent – progression to end-stage renal disease. By isolating less than 5 percent of the 400,000 diabetic population selected among the company’s database of 15 million patients, the algorithm was able to identify 45 percent of patients who would progress to significant kidney damage within a year, prior to becoming symptomatic. This represents 25 percent more patients than would have been identified by commonly used clinical tools and judgment, the company contended.”
  • El Camino Hospital in Silicon Valley implemented artificial intelligence technology, decreasing the rate at which patients suffered dangerous falls by 39 percent. The key, alongside additional fall prevention strategies, was a software program that predicts which individuals are most likely to fall by combing over electronic health records for risk factors and real-time tracking of patients.

Similarly, here at HealthTap, we have integrated artificial intelligence in our recent launch of Doctor A.I, a personal Artificial Intelligence powered physician that helps route users to doctor recommendations and care, immediately. Interested in learning more? Enable Dr. A.I today!

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