Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
The scientific method relies heavily on research activities. More research activity is underway today than at any time in human history. Population growth and improved accessibility of educational resources are producing more original studies than ever in a dynamically growing body of knowledge. Results from non-profit research institute work along with academic and privately funded investigations produce a flood of novel results daily.
The practice of medicine is perhaps the best example of this trend. Physicians who are actively engaged in the treatment of patients are busy individuals. An effort to sort through, read and understand all the relevant areas of research is beyond that ability of many doctors. The results are sadly a reduction in the potential quality of healthcare being provided.
Addressing this dilemma is being undertaken by the field of data science and artificial intelligence. Two examples of current efforts in this area are AI health record analysis and AI analysis of wearable technology data.
AI and Health Records
Electronic health records contain innumerable data points about individual patients. Doctors are challenged to successfully review patient histories in an aging population where this information would be most useful. Artificial intelligence ability to classify, categorize and analyze information may one day allow physicians to simply view or listen to a summary produced by AI. AI’s ability to perform this task very quickly and accurately may become the doctor’s and patient’s best ally.
AI Analysis of Wearable Technology Data
The proliferation of smartwatches and fitness bands designed to track key health indicators is producing a treasure trove of health data. Leveraging AI’s ability to collect and review this data for notable trends in things like heart rate anomalies may produce helpful insights. Patients electing to participate would simply connect their wearable device to the internet allowing access by remote health care AI facilities. Reporting to the doctor and augmentation of health records with the results could improve patient outcomes.
Exploration of the power of artificial intelligence is just beginning. Applications in the healthcare field promise improved information availability and the potential for enhanced doctor-patient relationships. Future progress will almost certainly allow physicians the ability to spend more time with patients and remain current on trends in healthcare.