Many of us are old enough to remember when the concept of “Artificial Intelligence” (A.I.) seemed like a distant fantasy. Movies predicted dystopian futures with renegade robots and abusive governments that use A.I. technology to malevolent ends. Fortunately, the future is here, and the reality of A.I. is quite the opposite!
Healthcare A.I. is now integral to many aspects of care delivery, and 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for medical and nursing companies. Here are three ways it’s bound to further change the industry in 2019:
1) Virtual Care
Remote healthcare solutions have gained considerable traction in the last ten years. But, now the momentum seems to be building exponentially with a new focus on outcome-based care. This is especially true in rural communities where nurse staff is in short supply and patient compliance is inadequate.
“Telehealth” visits that combine video calls with nurse or physician remote consultation help to bring the doctor’s office into a patient’s home. But, A.I. is refining the practice by providing more accurate remote diagnoses thanks to complex algorithms that cross-reference vast patient databases.
2) Medical Imaging
You’ve probably heard a lot about “facial recognition” technology in the news lately. It’s used by social media companies, security firms and even advertisers in order to quickly identify people. But, did you know that it’s only possible thanks to A.I. and that the same technology is now used to aid in improving the accuracy of medical imaging?
Medical imaging is an incredibly important healthcare science that regularly saves lives. By complementing a doctor’s expertise, A.I. helps to further refine the accuracy of imaging-based diagnoses. Clinicians continue to recognize the importance of medical imaging A.I., and we should expect to see further adoption in the years to come.
3) Prevention of Medical Errors
Medical errors take many forms, from misdiagnosis to dangerous prescribing and inaccurate charting. Sadly, estimates suggest that the human costs are huge, with medical errors contributing to an estimated 440,000 deaths in the United States alone.
Fortunately, A.I. is at the forefront of helping to improve the situation. A.I. technology is now implemented in leading electronic medical records (EMR) solutions, which can help prevent dangerous adverse drug reactions and chart errors. It also serves to improve general accuracy in records, keeping critical patient information centralized and available across all care delivery partners. As with medical imaging, A.I. also helps to provide doctors with an instant “second opinion” for greater diagnostic accuracy.
The futuristic world of A.I. often seems mysterious to most of us “laypeople.” However, the truth is that it’s helping doctors, nurses and health systems to vastly improve care delivery. While healthcare will always rely on the personal touch of passionate human beings, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the aid of technology!
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