How AI Is Helping Underserved Areas Receive Better Healthcare

With rapid advances in technology, yesterday’s sci-fi dreams are becoming today’s reality. In no industry are these advances needed more desperately than in health care. Despite university’s and technical schools churning out graduates as quickly as possible, the World Health Organization estimates that the healthcare workforce will soon reach a shortage of nearly 13 million workers. Since the need is especially acute in rural areas across the nation and the globe, researchers are looking into the promise of artificial intelligence (AI) to meet these underserved areas’ healthcare needs.

The promise of AI in health care

Physicians have long taken advantage of robotic tools for both the diagnosis and treatment of illness, using these capabilities to augment their own skills. In contrast, the next big leap forward is to remove physicians from the process entirely, at least at some levels of care.

As far as we may be from having truly intelligent robots, there is one thing that computers are undeniably good at: recognizing patterns. Since medical imaging (including x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and dozens of other types of imaging services) produce relatively uniform results and irregularities, machine learning programs are nearing the point where they can recognize dangerous irregularities and offer a preliminary diagnosis that approaches – or even exceeds – the accuracy of an experienced physician. To date, such techniques have already dramatically increased the efficiency of diagnostic procedures, leading to faster diagnosis and treatment.

Reaching out to rural and underserved areas

This area of healthcare is especially promising for medical centers serving rural populations. Since small facilities are often understaffed, AI-powered diagnostic procedures can reshape the level of care that is available to these underserved areas. The promise of more efficient, cost-effective treatment is a game-changer for rural areas where highly-trained medical professionals are few and far between. In fact, AI-driven treatment and diagnosis may help rural health services match the level of care that is available in urban centers.

Even with the help of AI and other cutting edge techniques and treatment, trained medical workers will continue to form the backbone of the healthcare system. If you are interested in a career in a healthcare field, HireCare can help you begin your search. To learn more about promising healthcare jobs in your area, contact us today.


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