Using Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare Industry

Laura BednarUncategorizedLeave a Comment

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The medical industry is using more and more technology to perform everything from administrative tasks to the development of possible 3D printed organs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is working its way into the healthcare industry to provide smoother processes for patient care and diagnoses alike. While many applaud the progress, others are still wary of the plausibility of the success of these new machines.

Current Technological Uses in the Medical Field

While newer AI systems are in the works, the healthcare industry has already made strides in patient care just over the last decade. One of the most well-known being Electronic Health Records (EHR). These are a collection of patient health information and health records in a digital format. By having the files in a central location, doctors and physicians can more efficiently treat the patients. This advancement has grown significantly in use over the past few years and will soon become the norm for hospitals.

In addition to the EHR, several other high tech solutions are already being used to provide smoother and higher quality care.

  • Wearable technology—with Apple watches and medical devices, doctors can use the data points of your sleep habits, exercise regimen, and skin pH levels to determine if something may be wrong.
  • Surgery Simulators—one example of this simulator is a model of a beating heart that uses artificial muscle and electricity to allow surgeons to have a realistic practice environment before performing the real surgery on a patient.
  • Artificial organs—scientists in Denmark have created engineered tissue with proteins and collagen that were used as a base for developing artificial ovaries for women who have had cancer.
  • Virtual Reality—some medical practitioners are using virtual reality to help calm a patient down before surgery or make rehab treatments less unpleasant.

In more general terms, there are self-service kiosks to help people to fill out registration forms and other paperwork. There are also as telehealth options for people to video chat with a doctor and receive reminders and monitoring updates of their medical condition.

Emerging AI Solutions

AI technology is not only promising to cut down on the staff members needed, thus saving costs. It is also predicted to allow for more face time between doctor and patient when more menial tasks are delegated to machine intelligence. By the year 2026, consulting firm Accenture predicted the most successful forms of AI would include robot-assisted surgery, dosage error reduction, and virtual nursing assistants among others.

The two main areas that advancements in AI can be broken into are considered to be Machine learning for data like imaging and genetics and Natural Language Processing, which takes information from unstructured data like physician notes and turning it into machine-readable text. The top health areas that are seeing changes are cancer, nervous system, and cardiovascular. Some up and coming technologies include:

  • Brain-computer interfaces allow those who have suffered a stroke or have another damaged neural network to communicate with the nervous system to perform daily tasks.
  • Robots to perform repetitive jobs like x-rays, analytics on text, data entry, and more.
  • Virtual nurses to monitor patient conditions and give advice to those who have ill family members.
  • Using machine learning algorithms to find ways to use the body’s immune system to fight against cancer cells.

Ethical Implications of AI Medical Care

While many argue that there is not enough labor to competently manage everyone’s health, others say that AI leads to many ethical situations. The biggest issue is how much data these machines collect. With mobile databases and self-service kiosks for sending patient data, this will only lead to a larger amount of patient data that is collected in a central place for hospital use. Without the protection of encryption, more medical data than ever will be put at risk.

If something were to go wrong either in the operating room or at the clinic desk, who would be at fault? The machine developer and programmer, the hospital using the technology, and doctors monitoring AI are all involved, resulting in messy situations down the line.

Ultimately people respond better to human touch and reassurance from a physical and certified doctor. A recent survey by Sitel Group found 70% of consumers prefer human interaction over bots. While machines are programmed to analyze straightforward data, the human race is flawed and cannot be treated equally when internal systems react differently to medicine. Sometimes the best diagnosis comes from a physician who knows the patient, their history and is not afraid to confront them about sensitive topics.

Staying Secure in An-Ever Changing World

With AI becoming the newest problem-solving method in healthcare and other industries alike, consumers need to protect their personal information. Our line of SecureDrives offer hardware-encrypted protection for your digital files and have secure authentication methods. The KP model is unlocked with a unique PIN via the wear-resistant keypad and the BT model is unlocked using an app on a mobile device. These secure storage solutions allow for on-site and remote medical data to stay safe in transit as well as within hospital walls.

Without the use of encryption, many healthcare institutions are susceptible to data breaches. Our Secure Forensics team has experience in stopping medical data breaches and can find the source of the attack and any information that was compromised. For more information on any of our services, call 1-80-388-1266.

Check out the first blog in this AI series on agriculture and the final post on AI in retail here.